Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Four Objects, Four Memories.

Number one is a Bakelite ball that unscrews and you put the wool inside it when knitting. I presume it would stop the ball of wool from 'ravelling' up.
I can picture my grandmother using one after the war. A tiny women, dressed in black, she could knit for England. Usually grey woollen socks and sometimes balaclavas. She also made numerous dish cloths. Were they knitted or is it a different technique? She died at ninety nine, a wonderful women.
Number two has a needle that is enclosed in the body in the picture. I have no idea what it is called. (Any ideas?) As far as I know it was used for mending nylon stockings, very scarce and expensive during and immediately after the war. The old 'Make do and Mend' slogan comes to
mind. It could no doubt also be used for mending socks etc as one reader, (50sme) suggests. We throw away far too much nowadays. Do you remember saving jars of old soap and numerous lengths of string. Are there any of you out there who dare to admit they are still frugal, thrifty or downright mean! Any little idiosyncrasies you dare to admit to!
Number three I am pretty certain are hair curling tongs. These are by far the oldest of the four items. You would place the main body of the tongs in a fire until heated. The handles too must have been extremely hot to handle. The whole procedure sounds precarious to me. It must have been a ladies thing!
I was orphaned at thirteen so memories of my mother are special. Friday night was extra special. Newspaper on the floor and out would come the steel comb. For Friday was 'Hunt the creatures' night, the culling of the dreaded head lice. For we shared more than our sandwiches with our classmates at junior school. Happy days!
The last item is a tool used by a plumber for 'belling' out the end of a lead pipe so that one pipe could be inserted into another and then soldered. I am reliably informed that it is called a 'Turpin'. Thank you Uncle Bernard (KD). Some of my family were tradesmen, including granddad who in fact died of lead poisoning in the 1930's. Amos, my uncle was also a plumber. He left his false teeth on a ledge down a sewer in the 1960's. When I married in 1970 my grandmother insisted he retrieve them for my wedding. He failed to do so, probably best in the circumstances! I never remember Amos with his teeth in. His party trick was to crack walnuts with his gums! He died leaving many bills uncollected, plus somewhere in the region of twenty gas cookers in his garden.
Four unconnected items, many different memories. Computers, who need them. The mind has a much greater capacity for storing life's experiences, however unimportant.

12 comments:

Jennyta said...

I remember my grandmother having two 'darning mushrooms', one bakelite with a screw top for keeping needles inside and the other a solid wooden one. Your mention of bakelite suddenly reminded me!

Nota Bene said...

Dang. I missed the first part, so clicked expecting to have four pictures to identify....

cheshire wife said...

Totally flummoxed by this post until I scrolled down and saw the photos. I've been playing catch up since by laptop let me down.

Uncle Bernard (KD) said...

Cheers Ken.
You're welcome.
(I hope I don't get banned for guessing right)!!!

Mickle in NZ said...

The bakelite ball is wonderful - as well as keeping the wool clean and unravelled it also stays safe from "kittycat interference". And is an incredible collectors piece - well done Ken for saving it.

Michelle over in NZ, a knitter with a cat!

Happy Frog and I said...

Great stuff, more please!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Jennyta
I wonder where most of these articles go! They need keeping, if only for grandchildren.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nota
Never mind, eh! (Who said that. it will bug me now!)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

cheshire wife
I know the feeling!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Bernard
I still reckon you're older than you're letting on! Banned, of course not, love your visits.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mickle
Thanks for visiting. I wonder where those balls went?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Happy Frog
Thanks. Let me have a think!