No place we’d rather be!

Gill Sutherland thumbs through a book which lifts the lid on everyday life in the Cotswolds...

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Photographer Betty Stocker and writer Tooty Gibbs with their new book. Photo: Mark Williamson (C56/10/16/9317)

TWO friends have harnessed their respective skills as photographer and writer to create a fascinating and loving account of Cotswold country life.

Betty Stocker supplied the images while Tooty Gibbs put the words together for More Country Folk Country Ways, which is the follow up to Country Folk Country Ways, the pair’s hugely successful first collaboration.

The new book reveals there is more to the Cotswolds than just its chocolate-box image of rolling hills and pretty thatched cottages. It shows that traditional craftsmen are thriving throughout the Cotswolds, from sheep shearer to stonemason, flour mill to farm shop, milliner to printing, all expertly documented, along with images of working on the land which are the very essence of the English countryside.

Unsurprisingly the ladies are country folk themselves: Tooty grew up on her parent’s farm and for the last 30 years has lived in Shipston; Betty lived on her grandfather’s farm until she was 16 and has been in Chipping Campden for 52 years, where she runs her photography business.

More Country Folk Country Ways is packed with lovely photos, but if they had to pick a favourite what would it be?

Betty: “Sheep on the move, on page 92, it reminds me of farm life.”

Tooty’s choice was: “The curious cows on page 67, they have such beautiful faces.”

And finally where would their favourite places be?

Betty said: “Buckland and Laverton, the two villages close to the family farm, so many happy childhood memories.”

Tooty added: “Stanton; pretty, peaceful, lovely walks all around and a super pub.”

More Country Folk Country Ways is priced at £12.99 and is available from Betty on 01386 840759, or online at www.bettystocker.com