A treasure trove of sayings and a lot of travel has made Tucker’s life an eventful one

Former show jumper Tucker Makin, a seventh-generation farmer, runs a heritage museum at the family farm in Fairburn Ings. Mr Makin has a collectoin of horseshoes and around 2,000 farming sayings he has collected. He also keeps Herdwick sheep that are not usually seen outside the Lake District.
Former show jumper Tucker Makin, a seventh-generation farmer, runs a heritage museum at the family farm in Fairburn Ings. Mr Makin has a collectoin of horseshoes and around 2,000 farming sayings he has collected. He also keeps Herdwick sheep that are not usually seen outside the Lake District.

“Silent company is often more healing than words or advice”.

Those words are among thousands of sayings collected over many years by Thomas ‘Tucker’ Makin on his travels around the world.

Some are stamped on vintage horseshoes at an Aladdin’s cave of farming heritage created by the former showjumper at Beckfield Farm near Knottingley.

Mr Makin, 77, said: “I started when I was about 25 years old when I was travelling about the country and abroad.

“There are sayings I picked up, written on hotel walls and places like that.

“I’ve got about 4,000 of them.”

Tucker became Mr Makin’s nickname as a young horserider, and it stuck as he went on to compete for Britain as a showjumper.

Mr Makin, who was still competing well into his 50s, remembered travelling to shows around the country and abroad with his sister Gillian.

He said: “My dad would look after the farm. There were young farmers all down the country. We’d stay with them and they’d give us somewhere for the horses for the night. We used to go to Liverpool and put straw down on the floor for the horses and a blanket and that was our bed.”

Farming tools and photographs of agricultural shows are among items on display at Mr Makin’s museum at the farm. It was open to the public before the foot and mouth outbreak of 2007.

Now it can be viewed by appointment at the farm, which is now run by Mr Makin’s son Adam.

Mr Makin said: “I’m the seventh generation, my son is the 8th. We were all born here.

“I didn’t want it all to be forgotten.”

Among livestock at the farm are Herdwick sheep, usually native to the Lake District in Cumbria and named after the Norse herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture.

Mr Making said: “Some of them go back in their breeding to the time of Beatrix Potter. These are all pure-bred Herdwicks.” Museum appointments can be made by calling 01977 516299.

Some of the sayings:

Silent company is often more healing than words or advice.

I’m not over the hill yet, I can’t get up it.

There’s no better exercise than reaching down to lift someone up.

We are here on earth to do good to others, what the others are here for I don’t know.

If it ain’t home sweet home, adjust it.