SHEPHERDS’ huts were once a familiar feature of the countryside.

Now they are collectors’ items, and change hands for thousands of pounds.

And if they bear the maker’s label “Farris, Coombe Bissett”, the chances are they were made by John Judd.

Mr Judd, who has just celebrated his 100th birthday, was head carpenter for the Farris family.

The shepherds’ huts he made were their living quarters when they were out on the downs during lambing.

They were equipped with feeding buckets and bottles and a stove, and the orphan lambs were kept in the warm by the stove. Making agricultural implements was a reserved occupation in the war, and Mr Judd served in the Home Guard.

“On Sundays we used to have to go up to the camp at Bulford for training and drills,” he recalled. “We had to march from the barracks up to the rifle ranges.”

Mr Judd was born in Coombe Bissett, and lived there for 96 years. He still has a handwritten note from the local midwife recording his safe arrival in the world.

His mother, Mabel, also born in the village, while his father Henry, who was killed in Palestine in 1918, came from Longford Park.

Niece Barbara Carter, from Downton, said older villagers will remember the beautiful garden Mr Judd and his late wife Lily created at their then home, The Cottage at Homington House.

“There were masses of flowers and vegetables that he tended with great care,” she said. “He had the greenest fingers you could possibly imagine.”

Mr Judd now lives at Bemerton Lodge in Salisbury, where he celebrated his birthday quietly with visits from friends and relatives.

As well as Mrs Carter he has another niece, Shirley Coles, in Wilton, and a nephew, Robin Morris, in Landford.

He also has two great-nephews and four great-nieces, five great-great-nephews and four great-great nieces.