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Welcome to Down the Lane - In search of a simpler life

A website showing, through personal trials and tribulations, the results of a downshifting experience

Life takes you wherever you want it to go usually. For a large part of it you can be happy and content, then things change around you and it's not what you want it to be anymore.

Richard Cannon
This sums up how I was feeling in 1999. I had a good secure job, well paid and I didn't have to worry too much about paying the Bills. Then, in six traumatic weeks, everything changed and it became apparent that taking away certain parts of my life, there wasn't much left. I took stock of the situation and decided I could only have the quality of life I wanted by changing it and making my destiny through my own means.

Out went my Railway Management job and in came the self-reliant world. The last 16 years has taken me through Oddjobbing , Gardening Work , earning a bit on the Web through Surveys and Mystery Shopping etc. Now I'm lucky enough to have a summer job of Dressing Room Attendant for the Kent Cricket Team and spend the winter month's on other casual diversities.

After a career in Advertising, Marketing, Retail and Railway management, it was a wee bit of a change !

Although still not earning half the amount I was 16 years ago, I have supplemented some of this by growing much of my vegetable needs and keep chickens for eggs (but they're pet's really!!).

Working on the "Do I need it and if I do, can I make it" principles, the frugal life has become second nature, the paying of Bills a challenge and the outcomes a sense of personal achievement.

The Web Site

Down the Lane has grown from just 30 pages in late 2003 to nearly 2,000 pages as of now.
The Website is referred to quite regulary in both National and Local Press , major Websites such as the BBC and has been the subject of two TV Documentaries .
The Forum, which was refurbished in Spring 2009 now has nearly 7,000 members and averaging over 200 posts per day

In the last year......
Through much needed publicity about Chicken Battery Farming (campaigned about by Down the Lane since 2003), the Chicken Keeping Section has grown considerably to give help and advice to those thinking about having, or who have just started, keeping Chickens in their back gardens.

The Frugal Living Pages
Many pages now have 'how to' or fun Video's to add to the Sites diversity.

The Down the Lane Blog
This was started to give me a chance of going off topic, well more off on one is probably nearer the mark!
Subjects vary from the intellect to absolute dribble probably only understood by few

Down the Lane Extras

As time has moved on, the website has gone off into other subjects. People finding pages for say WW1 Battlefields may find it strange why they were on a site about keeping Chickens! So, the Site has now been split into two, thus giving each category more definition. .

In Extras - Growing up in the 50's and 60's
These pages have become very popular, nothing like some of us olden's going back to 'the good old days' and a chance to say 'When I was your age..." !! Maybe there's clues in these pages for why so many want to return to more the lifestyle we had then?

Down the Lane and Social Networking

To keep up with the ever moving trends of the Internet, the Website has now a
Facebook Page (over 2,000 Members) and Twitter Page (pver 700 followers) plus all video clips featured in this site plus more (one or two no relevance whatsoever!!) can be found on the dedicated Youtube Page
You can also find us on Google+

Recently added pages

Month by Month guide to the Vegetable Garden (12 pages) - Where to site a Chicken House - Cleaning your Coop - Red Mite and Chickens - Getting your Chickens back in the Coop - In Frugal Living What don't we really need (6 pages) - 3 new pages in Earning Extra Mone y

The Down the Lane Chicken Keeping Pages are supported by Chicken Coops


Garden Wildlife Pages

Over 50 pages on nature's visitors to our door steps.
From Birds to Butterflies via Frogs, Toads, Reptiles, Rabbits, Foxes and more. Visit the
Garden Wildlife - Nature on our Doorstep
Down the Lane is proud to be associated with..

Click Banner to view their Products

Chicken Keeping Pages Hen's in the Garden
Chickens in the Garden
Keeping chickens in back gardens is still on the up
The Chicken Keeping Pages
offer you most of what you need to know when starting out, plus many lessons learnt!Plus new
Shopping Pages

Down the Lane
Now attracting around 100 new members a month, this is the place to ask questions, share knowledge and have fun with like minded people
The Forum
Down the Lane Extra's

More subjects in the Down the Lane Website

Hobbies and Interests ,
Health & Wellbeing ,
Kent Cricket ,
Ashford in Kent ,
Growing up in the
50's & 60's

WW1 Battlefields Ypres
Cycling John O'Groats
to Land's End


Earning Extra Money

Loads of thing's I've done in an effort to keep afloat & pay the Bills (sometimes!!).. ; Newspaper Rounds - Decorating - House & Pet Sitting and more
Go to Earning Extra Money

The JOGLE Pages
Land's End

Read about my solo Bicycle Ride in 2011 to raise money for two worthy causes
Cycling John O'Groats to Land's End

Saving our Hedgehogs

Pages on how we can help our diminishing Hedgehog population inc. how to make Houses, feeding and more. Go to
The Hedgehogs in the Garden Pages

Chicken Breeders UK

A new Directory of Chicken Breeders accross the UK plus pages on some Popular Chicken Breeds

House Sitting for extra money

How to earn extra money by
House and Pet Sitting

Plus Tips on being successful at it

Ex-Battery Hens
Pages dedicated to this terrible Farming method
ex-battery hens pages
Many people are now taking these poor creatures on as pets.
Read about it & how you can re-home Caged Hens

The Battery Hen

Vegetable Gardening
Grow your own Vegetables
A big part of living the frugal life and being more self-reliant is growing your own Vegetables. Go to
The Garden Farm

Shop for Chicken

chicken coop

Just about everything you need to start keeping Hens in the Garden
One Stop Chicken Shop

In and around Ashford in Kent

Ashford Kent pages

More pages added showing the Villages around the Town.
Go to the Ashford in Kent pages

Full Website