Bulletin 401

April, 2016, Collection of Mystery Items  presented by Alan Stoyel

This was really an archaeological ramble – examples ranging from Mediaeval China – a Ming jar, to Canon Pyon – an animal pound, via Spain, and from Roman times up to yesterday.

First off was a French acorn grinder, to produce a type of flour, with the Ming jar for ginger, then a picture of a series of spaces in a brick wall for skeps for honey bees, and a North Country barn next to a horse drawn threshing mill for grain, and for those reaping the grain with a sickle – a pair of protection sheaths (wooden) for the vulnerable left-hand.

For building purposes, we saw a triple brick mould for hand prepared bricks, and a neat mortar flasher for use later on, and a picture of a factory site in Cornwall – not for tin mining, but for brick making, and then even a lime kiln – in Pembrokeshire. On a more homely scale, we saw a tinplate candle mould, for making a series of tallow candles (with wicks).

Various weaving activities were demonstrated by an actual Roman loom weight, a set of tenterhooks for stretching newly prepared cloth, and a picture of the large upstairs windows needed by cloth workers, for their activities. Of similar interest, was a Spanish grass (esparto) crusher – as the flattened grass was used for woven productions.

Industry through the ages, was demonstrated by showing a North Spanish site of an extensive gold mine, where material was washed out by water brought to the site by a leat of c. 50 mile long – built by the Romans. Underground work was shown by a drill bit used in a tin mine, and a neat instrument for measuring angles in the depths of the mine, and of our own times now – a pressure gauge for a steam engine, and another for measuring hydraulic pressure, when water was being supplied over an area under high pressure, some being used to operate machinery. Very decorative, was a large square tile, neatly perforated all over, to allow drying of newly made malt in a kiln.

Pictorial reminders of British history, were demonstrated by one of a large Georgian naval victualling depot, in Plymouth dockyard, and by another of a Victorian fort casemate, as part of the proposed defence around Plymouth, provoked by the arrival of another Napoleon across the Channel! Review JR.

Programme Dates from Nancy

Friday 15th April 7-30pm at Kington Primary school “Water! the most precious substance on earth” talk by Dr Noel Meeke from the Hereford waterworks Museum. This should be a fascinating and inspiring talk about something we all take for granted. All welcome Non members £2 with free refreshments afterwards.
This is our last indoor meeting before we break for the Summer recess So if you have not done so yet please put your names down for our May and June visits.
Sunday May 1st 3pm Tour of Dunfield House & grounds £5 includes afternoon tea
Friday June 17th 12.30 Tour of Brecon Cathedral Donations please 3pm Cruise on the Brecon canal £6.80 Cream tea extra at £3.70   Booking for both outings is essential so please contact Nancy Wheatland.

We now have a date for our July venture which is a Picnic and map display up on Bradnor hill, Kington
Saturday 23rd July 3pm   No charge open to all. If you wish to come along please let us know in advance so   we have an idea of numbers. Hope to see you all in the Summer.   Best wishes from the Programme committee and thank you for your support.

We return for our indoor talks on Fri 16th Sept. with a fascinating talk by Roger Curtis about “The old picture house” in Kington.


The Kington History Society will be moving from the library very soon and will be taking up quarters at the Kington Museum.  We are most grateful to the staff there for their good endeavours on our behalf.

The Museum staff are always looking for good friends who will assist with the manning of the Museum.   Please help if you can; the job is not onerous and you will soon fit into it perfectly.

Editor V. Harrison