The bronze sculpture of two pigs, by local artist Richard Cowdy, sits at the entrance to Phelps Parade. It has become the symbol of Calne’s heritage - over 200 years of pork food production.   

When Two Pigs was stolen in October 2017, over 100,000 people took to social media to express their anger and sadness at the theft of this iconic work of art. Within three days, the sculpture was tracked down and returned. The thieves were eventually caught and Two Pigs was repaired and reinstalled a few months’ later, to the delight of the people of Calne. Generations of families worked at C&T Harris (Calne) Ltd or had connections.  

From a pork butcher’s shop in Church Street, formerly Butcher Row, started by widow Sarah Harris and her son John in 1770, it grew to an award-winning company selling world-wide, until its closure in 1982. In its heyday, Harris’s employed over 1,700 local people and processed 5,000 pigs per week, producing 100 tons of meat pies, 150 tons of sausages, 50 tons of cooked meats and 70 tons of canned goods.
It’s good to remember the journey of these early pigs, arriving at Bristol from Cork, Ireland, and herded by drovers along the road to London – now called the Great West Way. Calne was a good resting place for drovers and pigs. The Harris family took advantage of this valuable commodity on their doorstep, expanding their enterprise, developing new processes for preserving the carcasses. The Wiltshire Cure was their unique method for dry curing pork which made Calne famous.

Fortunately, Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon Co, Bromham [6.4 miles SW] continues the tradition of dry curing. Food writer Tom Parker-Bowles is a fan: ‘the finest British cured pork.’  

And why not accompany your delicious ham joint with some pig-themed beers and gin, produced locally, available from The New Wine Shop. Cheers, me dears!  

With thanks to Dee La Vardera




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