You never know what’s going to come up when you ask local Facebook page the Devizes Issue for ideas for stories. I certainly didn’t expect this, but I’m a gonna do it; ready?
Two reasons, it’s a feel-good fun story, and the Borrill family of Chirton’s hamsters have more of a social life then most of us!
Beverly Borrill spares no detail as she sticks and glues another scene for her pets to enact. They’re amusing, cute and just downright fun. So much so the hamsters have been in the spotlight of the BBC, appearing on The Great British Bake Off’s Extra Slice, on Points West and Wiltshire Radio; though I’m not sure how vocally they perform on radio.
“I’m considering building an ark,” laughed Beverly as I pondered if the other pets, two guinea pigs, two tortoises, a pair of fancy rats , a chinchilla, a chocolate Labrador, and her daughter’s horses, ever get jealous of the seven hamsters and a litter of six hamster pups as they head for superstardom; in as much as a hamster can.
“How long have you been doing…..doing this?” I gulped, “and why hamsters?”
“For about 2 years,” Beverly explained. “It started while my daughter was doing a school project. We made a hot air balloon, her pet hamster was duly launched around the kitchen in 80 days, with Passpartout navigating around the Aga and the fridge! And so it began. Hamsters, simply because every little girl has a pet hamster. So we worked with what was available.”
As well as the Great British Bake Off and subsequent Points West feature, the hamsters also did an interview on Polling for BBC radio Wiltshire. “We made a polling station and took Lulu in,” Beverly said, “that was fun.” Quite, the Monster Raving Hamster Party could do with a little more political attention.
Having said this, the hamsters never fail to charm; “we even went down to London to do a professional shoot for Instagram. We haven’t seen the results of that yet though!”
“They’re certainly cute and always bring a smile,” I simply had to add, “do you think they enjoy the attention?!”
“They love the attention and are rewarded with treats and cuddles,” Beverly answered, which is, coincidentally, more than I get! “The good thing is when they have had enough they just wander off. So you can’t force them do anything they’re not interested in.”
Again, a bit like me, workwise.
Maybe I’d make a good hamster, while I like the idea of food storage in my cheeks, ensuring the kids don’t get to the kitchen cupboards before me, I’ve always wondered about the balls people put hamsters in, you know the ones, which roll around the room; they seem to enjoy it, but I wonder if they’re really yelling, “let me out of here, tyrannical oppressor!” What does Beverly think, does her hamsters do “the custodial ball?”
“I prefer to let the Hammies have free roam time in the downstairs loo,” she enlightened. Uncanny, again this is similar to me, it’s virtually my office. “That way they can climb run and hide without being stuck in a ball. The downstairs loo is the only room that they can’t escape from. I also have a play pen that I put them while they are out. I worry about little toes getting caught in the gaps of a ball too.”
If you love the hamster’s photos here, and why wouldn’t you? Also try the Harcourt Hammies Facebook page for more.
Always up for a challenge, Beverly suggested if id have a scene, Devizes based, I’d like to see re-created, “I’d be delighted to get my cardboard and glue gun out.” Local themes though include this excellent Wadworth Brewery shoot, and she is also working on a dentist and ice cream cart. So I’m not sure, perhaps the hamsters would like to go a music festival this summer? So would I though.
Check the video of The Harcourt Hammies doing the Great British Bake Off!