Author Topic: Little Known Fact  (Read 6352 times)

Offline Peter Burgess

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Little Known Fact
« on: February 02, 2007, 11:57:33 am »
Clogs having been mentioned elsewhere today, it brings to mind something few cavers probably know.

When caving in Wales some years ago, we got to know a man, Ritchie Evans, now deceased, who lived in Glynneath. He was a champion of local history, and had an amazing collection of old photographs with which he used to do slide presentations. One of the things he told us was that in Ystradfellte, the villagers used to cut the alder trees, and make blanks for clogs out of the wood. These blanks were put into the Afon Mellte, and would be carried downstream to Pont Nedd Fechan and Glynneath where they were caught in nets, and then finished, presumably for use by the miners and others in the area. Ritchie showed us a picture of the cottage where the clog-makers lived, and it was the same cottage we were actually having the slideshow in - Godre Pentre, Croydon Caving Club's cottage. Not only that, but in the photo was a tool that the clog-makers used - an adze. The hut warden promptly disappeared out to the tool-shed and returned with it in his hand. "We dug this up in the garden" he said.

An unforgettable evening. Better by far than any pub session.

Offline SamT

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2007, 12:12:23 pm »
Superb - I love shit like that.  :clap2:

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2007, 01:01:02 pm »
This isn't the photo, but it might be the tool.
http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/subjects/4772


Offline gus horsley

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007, 01:20:00 pm »
I can see a hand axe and a large mallet but I can't see an adze.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 01:32:58 pm »
You're right, that's not it.

Offline AndyF

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007, 01:55:39 pm »
"when I nod my head you hit it..."


Ah, the old ones are the best etc. etc.
"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."

Offline paul

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2007, 01:59:19 pm »
Except the bloke on the left looks like he has just chopped his thumb off... :)
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007, 02:18:35 pm »
These are the blanks they used to float down the Mellte, over all the waterfalls to Glynneath.


Offline gus horsley

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 02:22:42 pm »
If they're going to float them down the river why are they arranging them in neat piles?  Did they have sponsored clog races?  How did they fish them out again?  With a clog net?  Am I asking too many silly questions?

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007, 02:27:46 pm »
I suspect they are stacked like that to dry them out, before they throw them in the river. Duh!

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2007, 02:29:29 pm »
It could be that by the time these photos were taken, there was a reasonable road to take the clogs away. I don't know enough about the area to be sure. Perhaps the river story is a local myth?

Offline gus horsley

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2007, 02:35:30 pm »
You're probably right.  I'm bored at work.  4 weeks training and I'm not absorbing a bloody thing.  Sorry.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2007, 02:44:34 pm »
If you're bored, check out the rest of the website that the clog pics are from. There's loads of stuff from all over Wales.

Offline graham

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2007, 08:39:39 pm »
Linda was surprised they used Alder as it has associations with bad luck.  :unsure:
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Offline Hughie

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2007, 09:06:19 pm »
Linda was surprised they used Alder as it has associations with bad luck.  :unsure:

I thought that was Elder? Welcome back, btw. If you are back, that is.

Offline graham

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2007, 09:08:49 pm »
Linda was surprised they used Alder as it has associations with bad luck.  :unsure:

I thought that was Elder? Welcome back, btw. If you are back, that is.

Hi. No that's the story that Judas hanged himself from an elder. Something to do with jew's ear fungus growing on dead elder, or so she tells me. Different story.

I'm still away & will be back on Sunday.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2007, 11:42:16 pm »
Pooh clogs?

Offline kay

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2007, 11:59:37 pm »
See also
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DBY/BygoneIndustries/ClogBlock.html

where it says that alder was favoured for clogs as it is hard wearing and does not warp even after repeated wetting. 

also
http://www.the-tree.org.uk/TreeCultivation&Uses/Uses/usesofwood.htm

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2007, 12:19:41 am »
Maybe the clogs were stacked on a tarp or canvas, bundled up as one mass and THEN floated down the river.
I doubt they threw them in one at a time.  :lol: :lol:

hoehlenforscher

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2007, 11:02:35 pm »
Yep Alder was the prefered clog making wood. Was a huge industry all over South Wales during the industrial revolution

If the clogs were floated from Croydon then they would have had to pass right through Porth y ogof. Wonder how many foundered in the resurgence pool!

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2007, 08:43:47 am »
Maybe the clogs were stacked on a tarp or canvas, bundled up as one mass and THEN floated down the river.
I doubt they threw them in one at a time.  :lol: :lol:


You may laugh, but this is what we were told, and that the clogs were caught at the bottom end in nets.

A tied up bundle of clogs would probably have snagged on either the numerous trees and overhanging and fallen timber, or just stuck in shallows or on rocks. The Mellte is not a deep and placid stream!
 

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2007, 11:26:09 am »
Linda was surprised they used Alder as it has associations with bad luck.  :unsure:

I thought that was Elder? Welcome back, btw. If you are back, that is.

Hi. No that's the story that Judas hanged himself from an elder. Something to do with jew's ear fungus growing on dead elder, or so she tells me. Different story.

I'm still away & will be back on Sunday.

Elder is also burnt to invoke spirits in witchcraft (allegedly!) - it's other name is stinkwood for the smell the green sappy wood raises when crushed or burnt.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2007, 08:35:43 pm »
Pendant!

Probably "evoke" rather than "invoke"; otherwise the person engaged in the magic would be trying to get themselves possessed!

Offline gus horsley

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2007, 10:15:35 am »
Have we got a forum pendant?  There's been several resignations (including mine).  Any takers?

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2007, 01:25:59 pm »
Pendant!

Probably "evoke" rather than "invoke"; otherwise the person engaged in the magic would be trying to get themselves possessed!

No - invoke.
One chants an invocation.

However the two have very similar dictioanary definitions with some overlap making both words valid in this case - differing only in common usage - the correct expression in this context is to invoke.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=invoke&x=33&y=10
verb (used with object), -voked, -vok·ing. 1. to call for with earnest desire; make supplication or pray for: to invoke God's mercy. 
2. to call on (a deity, Muse, etc.), as in prayer or supplication. 
3. to declare to be binding or in effect: to invoke the law; to invoke a veto. 
4. to appeal to, as for confirmation. 
5. to petition or call on for help or aid. 
6. to call forth or upon (a spirit) by incantation. 
7. to cause, call forth, or bring about. 

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=evoke&x=27&y=15
verb (used with object), e·voked, e·vok·ing. 1. to call up or produce (memories, feelings, etc.): to evoke a memory. 
2. to elicit or draw forth: His comment evoked protests from the shocked listeners. 
3. to call up; cause to appear; summon: to evoke a spirit from the dead. 
4. to produce or suggest through artistry and imagination a vivid impression of reality: a short passage that manages to evoke the smells, colors, sounds, and shapes of that metropolis. 

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2007, 01:27:37 pm »
Hey, I think we've found ourselves a new forum pendant!

Offline gus horsley

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2007, 02:11:16 pm »
Hey, I think we've found ourselves a new forum pendant!


Yep.  Well volunteered Dep.  And a very impressive debut if I may say so.

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2007, 04:11:53 pm »
Hmmm, thanks for the vote but I make too many typos (old clunky knackered keyboard) to be a true pedant.
And I often misread things or go off at a tangent - I'd be less a pedant and more of a hypocrite!
Peter does pendantry with aplomb - I can only emulate! :)  :bow:

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2007, 12:07:36 am »
Nicely done, Dep; that showed me!  :ras:

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2007, 10:38:53 am »
Nicely done, Dep; that showed me!  :ras:

You see I'd make a poor pedant as I took little pleasure from that trivial victory!  :)

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2007, 02:55:21 pm »
Perhaps more Pyrrhic than trivial?

Dep

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Re: Little Known Fact
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2007, 02:56:39 pm »
Perhaps more Pyrrhic than trivial?
Indeed!