Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday.


                                                             
                                                         MYSTERY OBJECT.
                                                         _________________

Been busy in my workshop almost all of today putting a small, ingenious, pocket tinder box, back into full working order.  Decided it was time I put up a Mystery Object, but couldn't think of anything. Then realised that I see the  object illustrated,  in my workshop, everyday! In fact I'd stopped seeing it until an  old friend (a retired G.P.) was in my workshop a few weeks ago; he  drew my attention to it, and wanted to know if it was for sale?  I was a bit surprised at this (it's not at all the sort of thing he usually likes - goes for very fine mechanical objects, which I sometimes have to repair for him), so I told him that I didn't really want to sell it as it belonged to my grandfather (the Norfolk Fenland one - a clue). Told him I'd give him a yell if I ever changed my mind, which satisfied him (I think).   I've included a foot ruler in the lower picture to give some idea of scale.


( P.S. -   Crowbard - if you remember it and its use, I'll hold up your comment for a day or so, to give everyone else a chance, if you don't mind).

Off to bed now -  Good Night All.

15 comments:

Nea said...

You'd better hold my comments back too, because I'm pretty sure I know what it is.
Speaking of fenish things I found out that "yellow belly" was a term used against us. The explanation given was the uniform of the Lincolnshire Regiment, I think, there were other suggestions made such as opium taking, due to malari, and coloring the skin yellow. Do you know anything about it?

Mike and Ann said...

Good morning Nea. I've published your comment because you do not say what it is. Very discreet of you. Yes, I know about the 'Yellow Bellies' term. It was used about the Lincolnshire Fen men rather than the Norfolk Fenmen. All fen folk used 'poppy tea' as an anti malarial drug, and either the tea, or, more probably, the malaria itself, tended to leave people with a yellow complexion; but I think the term was used mainly for Lincolnshire folk because the uniform of the Lincolnshire regiment had yellow facings.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Nea. Sorry. You do say what the comment is, but not, of course, what the Mystery Object is. Thank you.

Rog said...

Is it a seed drill for making a seed planting pattern?

Or a comb for that unmanageable beard?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Rog. the answers are No and No (in that order). Try again.

Crowbard said...

Hi Mike, I think I would have reversed the order of the No!s, but as my beard is slimline and elegant and clearly not in the running for this mode of whisker-valeting I shall keep schtum!
The implement is, I suspect, an indirect dining fork at one remove from Ely waterways.... if you can eat out of a hyperbole?

Margaret Brocklehurst said...

I though I knew what is was, but after reading the comments of my esteemed family I am obviously way off the Mark.
I look forward to knowing the truth!

kippy said...

First guess would be that it is used to gather eels. Perhaps it is remove grasses etc. from the waterways?

Rog said...

The fenland clue isn't helping I'm afraid.

Is it for despatching eels? Or unwelcome visitors?

Mike and Ann said...

Crowbard knows what it is, although he has cleverly encrypted (?) his answer so as not to give the game away. I think probably Nea does, too. I'm not sure what Maggie thought it is, but she's probably got a good idea. Kippy's first guess is correct, as is Rog's third guess.

It is an eel glaive (pronounced 'gleave' in the fens). It is an eel spear. I have seen it in use, and assisted in its use. When a fenland ditch had been tidied leaving muddy sides to the ditch, this tool (mounted on a long ash pole) would be thrust into the dyke sides, and when withdrawn, there's be two or three eels wriggling between the tines, which are alternately notched and quite heavily sprung. Eels are technically fish, and taste like a good white fish. Boiled with new potatoes, and served with a parsley sauce, they make a delicious meal.

Crowbard said...

I must confess I'm partial to them fried in butter with salt and pepper and a bit of fried bread cooked in the same pan. I expect the addition of parsley sauce would enhance the experience.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. Yes, I vaguely remember eating fried eels. The eel glaive belonged to Grandfather T.'s father/grandfather, and was said to have been made by one of the Evison family. Shame there are now no T.'s, or indeed Evisons.

kippy said...

Never tried them(not a common dish here in the U.S.). Do the spears always have that many tines?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Kippy. I don't know that they're on the menu much here nowadays, except elvers (very young eels) , and I do know one or two companies smoke eels, as a delicacy.
There are two major types of glaive that I know of - the sort illustrated here, and another type where the main prongs are large flat. sharp, arrow shaped, with a sharp, thin prong between every two arrow head prongs. Both work equally well on catching eels, but the type I am more familiar with probably does less damage to the eels than the arrow head and spike type.

Crowbard said...

I think there are very many T.s left Mike. Pop T had at least twenty cousins, most of whom married and had families, I doubt they all petered out, even though his line and his siblings' lines failed.

Tell Kippy there are some very good pictures of assorted eel glaives on Google if he cares to do a search.