Sunday, 2 July 2017


Took above photograph this morning, of a pair of  green finches.  Haven't seen many of these this spring, so it was good to see these two.


                                         Mystery Object.

Above item is blacksmith- made of  wrought iron. It was last used in the mid 1950s, and very effective it was, too. 

Can you tell me  when it was made, roughly  where, and for what exact purpose ?????


Mike said...

First sentence - blacksmith made, of wrought iron, is, I'm afraid rather tautological

Crowbard said...

You're right Mike but it helps the analytical mind to look at it from both perspectives i.e. The culture in which it was made and the nature of the material from which it was made. It would have been found at the end of a long pole and used in an aquatic environment. The results of its (and things like it) use were effectively causal to our population and culture's present existence as we find it today. (Put simply, our ancestors lives were enhanced by the things.) I've never used on,e although as lads we both at times went equipped to successfully achieve similar results.
I suspect most Fen men have found similar things in their grandfather's garden-shed.
Date is tricky, I suspect they were made from before the 14th century possibly to the present in some artisan's forge; this one I'd guess widely 1750 - 1850 in some fen-land or fresh-water area.

Crowbard said...

Lovely to see the green-finches making a bit of a come-back. We haven't seen any over here but we've been visited by gold-finches this year and there's still a pair of green-woodpeckers over in the spinney.

Mike said...

Hello Crowbard. You are right. It is grandfather Trower's Eel glaive. It was made by one of a long line of Smiths, who inhabited the same village in the Norfolk fens as did our mother's people. When one side of a fenland drainage dyke had been cleared. The socket end of the Glaive head would be very securely fastened to an ash pole, then standing on the uncleaned side of the dyke, the pointed end of the glaive would be thrust into the smooth side of the dyke (wherever there was any movement) and when the glaive was withdrawn from the mud, more often than not two or three mature eels would be found on the spikes of the glaive. The glaive was last used by our Grandfather and meself during a Saturday afternoon's eel hunt in the mid nineteen fifties; after which we took home what looked like a bucketful of very active eels. These were then skinned, gutted, and cooked up with vegetables and herbs to provide a very nutricious meal. The glaive was made by our village blacksmith's grandfather, somewhere around 1850. The dating is a wild guess, as is the relationship. In country areas the term 'grandfather' indicates 'ancestor'. Our village blacksmith, whitesmith, wainright, etc. was a great friend of our grandfather. His name was Alti Evvison, and he claimed Viking ancestry, to which I should think he was probably entitled (especially given that name).