tales from the yard 

Pru Woods

About Me

I often ask myself how I came to be running a Reclamation yard in rural Herefordshire. After 18 years spent living in Zanzibar then in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, the move to the English countryside 14 years ago brought many challenges, not least working outside in the cold and the rain. As I find myself on the wrong side of 50 the lifting takes its toll on knees and back and I have come to accept crushed fingers and toes as just another occupational hazard! Working conditions aside though, I love the sense of excitement, never knowing what weird and wonderful thing will cross my path. Welcome to my blog, a hopefully humourous look at the life of a female reclamation dealer in the male dominated world of architectural salvage.

About English Salvage 

One thing you learn living in Africa is that nothing goes to waste! Arriving in Zanzibar in the mid eighties I naively asked my neighbour about refuse collections, their bemused expression said it all! We dug a pit in the back yard, a meter square and apart from compost, everything went in there. Eight years later we still hadn't filled up that pit! Each day the village children would come and see what useful item the strange wasteful people had left for them. Tin cans were beaten skillfully into toys; old lightbulbs became decorations; clothes became rag rugs and shoes which had fallen apart were lovingly repaired. On one occassion an old radio which refused to work for me despite new batteries, was found to be belting out taarab music at my neighbours a couple of weeks later. This was reclamation in its truest form and it sowed the seed of an idea that would come back to us years later.


Skipping forward to the 2003 and the eldest of our 4 children was approaching secondary school age. We were sitting on the verandah of our house in Lesotho, the mountain air crisp in the spring sunshine and the scent of peach blossom from our trees fragrant and sweet. 'What about a reclamation yard?' asked Mr W. We were discussing job opportunities if we were to return to UK. He had a masters degree in  tropical agriculture and although a qualified journalist, I hadn't worked for 16 years. We weren't at all sure what we could do. 'That could be fun' I said and 2 years later English Salvage was born. If you are interested in finding out any more about the business you can visit our website.



reclaimed dog statues
Reclaimed Fire Shutters
reclaimed airplane windows
Reclaimed mannequins