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  #1  
Old 28th August 2012
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snaarman snaarman is offline
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Out and about with Snaarman

Welcome: Here's a new series that will focus on Country Matters and the way things used to be done. I hope it will prove as useful and as informative as my many other posts.

So let's start with this



You probably don't recognise it, but its a Scuffing Iron and it is attached firmly to a Chip Lifter. These old lifters were brought in many a year back when farmers were first shifting from Potatoes to Chips.

Townies among you won't realise just how fiddly chips are to grow and harvest. At first it was all done by hand but the poor yield soon had the farmers searching for a mechanical method. The Lifter manages to straighten the chips in the ground using the weight of the roller, then it squeezes them out of the soil and the are scraped off and collected by the Scuffing Iron.

The manufacturers did like to claim that you could actually lift potato crisps with these machines, and some farmers were actually taken in. Unfortunately the craft requires a lot of skill as any crispwright will tell you.

These days Chip and Crisp harvesters are large computerised monsters made in Belgium. Ah, another old industry lost.

Pete
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Pete, THAT is a m a z i n g !

Nick recognised THIS Joohan Deare equipment immediately - he says it was critical to development of flat chip growing AND Apple own the Pants for this
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

OK Chaps - Once upon a time I lived next door to a Crisp factory and I also visited the fields where the vegetables were grown, and slid down the chute that the bags of potatoes were sent down to be loaded into lorries to be taken to the factory.

And what is more during the great electricity cuts of 1947 the factory had it's own power supply so that it could continue frying and packing the chips to help feed the nation.
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Is it true crisps were invented by the Tudors?
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Same inventor as for the cucumber straightener?
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

I see you have managed to get a shot of the first stages of development for the crinkle chip which was later picked up by some of the crisp makers. The chip maker was of course replaced by the cheeswire strung tennis racket which lead to faster production and not as much waste. Some companies further developed this by adding more strings for thinner chips.
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

I see that is the Standard Plain model, without the cheese grater and onion shredder attachments.
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Old 28th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

It's little "Golden Wonder" that such an object could be construed as a chip lifter, made in "Worcestershire" no doubt, I myself take the suggestion with a pinch of "Salt and Vinegar", yes I know my response is somewhat "Cheesey & Onion", but I'm "Ready Salted" enough to bet my new "Pringles" sweater, that what the image does show amounts to no more than a half "baked" and "Plain" attempt to get us all in a "Pickled Onion", and "Walkers" around in circles
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Now we move on to the Mole Wrench.

Moles are the curse of a good lawn and cause much damage to grassland as well. Many are the farmers driven to distraction by the black velvet gentlemen underground.

In the past you would have to summon the local mole catcher and pay a pretty penny to have a field cleared, which was a slow and painstaking process.

This all changed in 1933 when Vicon introduced the Mole Wrench.



In this close up of a Molewheel you can see the high tensile steel sprung spokes were capable of penetrating the soft earth of spring pasture. The rotating action as the implement was towed across the ground would seek out moles and flick them up into the open. A large machine pulled at a gallop by a team of four horses would have moles flying through the air in profusion and clear a small field in an hour or so.

Unscrupulous farmers would often deliberately steer the rig so that the moles would be catapulted into a neighbours field. While this practice was not illegal it was certainly frowned upon.

Pete
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
Unscrupulous farmers would often deliberately steer the rig so that the moles would be catapulted into a neighbours field. While this practice was not illegal it was certainly frowned upon.

Pete
That has just made me laugh out loud, Not good when you are sat in an office supposed to be working!
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

So Jasper Carrot was wrong, there is more than one way to catch a mole.
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

I'm inclined to agree with this, although I believe it to have been the 16th century Aztec's who first utilised the tool.

I believe it was reported, (although proper deciphering of Aztec writings is still sketchy), that one incident in an Avocado field led to the invention of Guaca..Mole.
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  #13  
Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
While this practice was not illegal it was certainly frowned upon.

Pete
Definitely frowned on by the mole.
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

molest [məˈlɛst]
vb (tr)
1. to disturb or annoy by malevolent interference
2. to accost or attack, esp with the intention of assaulting sexually
[from Latin molestāre to annoy, from molestus troublesome, from mōlēs mass]
molestation [ˌməʊlɛˈsteɪʃən] n
molester n
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Old 29th August 2012
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Re: Out and about with Snaarman

I knew you were going to post that. You have a mole.
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