We are just back from a week in Northumberland over the Easter holidays. Lots of family, lots of laughter, and lots of fine food – perfect! I think I may have put on about a stone though. We stayed in an amazing barn conversion which used the old gin-gang as the lounge. This is what John Seymour says of the gin-gang (he knows it as the jin-ring):

Then came the horse-driven threshing machine – the jin-ring outside the barn around which a horse walked in a circle to drive a threshing machine within. Then, on a windy day, they’d winnow. open the great doors…and toss the threshed corn up into the air with shovels so that the chaff would blow away.

In my drawing you can see the central wooden post which would have turned the machine. I struggled to get my beams to look right until I realised that I had assumed the gin-gang was a perfect symmetrical circle with the central post in the middle. The circle was actually slightly flattened on one side with the post off-centre. There was something so pleasing about this hint at human hands and human eyes making this practical building that had so much heart. The gin-gang was perfect in its imperfection.

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