Days before each show, Mr Findleyson's competing hens were given special food along with their daily diet.
He always gave Martha a special hen mash he prepared, to plump her up
even more and to bring out the sparkle in her black beady eyes.
Her eyes became beacons in the night, transfixing you when you looked at them!
The day before the Norwich show had finally arrived.
Mr Findleyson and the hens were up earlier than usual.
He, Martha and the other competing hens had a long drive ahead of them. It would take at least 12 hours to get to Norwich.
The journey would be split in two, with Mr Findleyson pulling off the
motorway and parking in a layby so he and the hens could get a nights
sleep. In the morning he would feed and water them and then feed
They had to be at the show grounds for 8am to register and get organised, as the judging of the hens would start at 10.00am.
Mr Findleyson wanted himself and the hens to be rested and fresh for the competition.
They would be setting out from the Farm at 12.00 pm that day.
There were chores to do around the farm and eggs to collect before the long journey began.
Mr Findleyson was up at 4.00 am. By 6.00 the farm was a hive of
activity. Hens bustling about, getting ready for the midday departure.
Martha was relaxing, as she felt she looked her best. The other
competing hens were doing some last minute preening. At 7.00 am Mr
Findleyson fed and watered all his hens. He then went into his large
farmhouse kitchen to have breakfast.
Martha followed him into the house. She was the only hen that lived in the house and she had done so since she had hatched.
She had a bed which Mr Findleyson had made for her in front of the large Aga.
The other hens on the farm had the choice of the big barn or the
henhouse in which to sleep. They were free to roam around during the
day. By night they were tucked up securely for their own safety from the
foxes which roamed the countryside pillaging from the farms they came