This is about the sort of gnomes you find in gardens, but no ordinary collection. The gnomes I'm going to write about lived for a very long time at the Gnome Reserve at West Putford, deep in north-west Devon, halfway between Clovelly and Holsworthy. Opposite at West Putford was a gallery I used to go to, then called the West Gallery. I bought a large glass artwork from them. But I never visited the Gnome Reserve, only a stone's throw away, except once in 2015 when needing to go to the loo: I sneaked in and out very discreetly. There were plenty of people there, so I wasn't noticed.
So I never toured the Gnome Reserve. And this year, in 2022, I discovered that the owners, who had put together this remarkable collection of all kinds of gnomes over many years, had finally taken retirement and had sold their property. But the gnomes hadn't been made homeless. They had moved. A notice at West Putford told me they had taken up residence at the Merry Harriers Garden Centre near Woolfardisworthy, or Woolsery as it is usually known. (I prefer Woolfardisworthy)