Where Shepherds Watched...

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Come Christmas Eve, four-year-old Roy Lowe has the perfect place from which to keep an eye out for Santa – the renovated shepherd’s hut at the end of his South London garden. The pale blue hut that sits halfway down the long garden is one of a number of original vehicles made in the 19th-century. They were mobile shelters for shepherds who had to watch their flocks by night up on the moors and open heath land. Built with a solid wooden frame on cast-iron wheels, the huts often had a small wood-burning stove and an adjustable platform that was a seat by day and a bed by night. To Roy’s mother, Peta Waddington (a designer and online DJ who, under the name Hip Auntie, has set up a music website for parents and children) the shepherd’s hut is a rustic reminder of the time she spent living in leafy Hampshire, but to Roy it is so much more. Writer vinnylee@btinternet.com

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