Sunday, 28 December 2014

Four of us Thought were Strong

It seems that were not allowed to let any employee's lift more than 25kgs these days, building cement is all in 25 kg paper sacks, potato's are sold in 25 kg paper sacks, no one is fit enough to lift the 50 kg sacks any more.
When father bought his seed wheat from the seed corn merchant it always came in "one acre sacks" and they weighed 88 kg, (we called it one and three quarter hundred weight) like I said to sow an acre of ground.

Before combines were around, wheat was threshed in the stack yard and wheat going for bread making was weighed off into 75 kg sacks stitched along the top by hand, the buyer most often supplied the hessian sacks.

  1. Hand would sack hoist
These were lifted onto a hand wound sack hoist up to shoulder height and a man carried it across the yard into a shed to wait for the haulage firm to collect it. It was a big joke with the older men when us lads had a go at carrying them as we staggered with our legs platting under the weight one and half times our own weight.
The sequence for loading a wagon was different, they were brought out of the shed on a sack truck where two men would lift them between them with a short stave of wood under the bottom quarter of each sack.
Another awkward and unwieldy dirty job was unloading dried sugar beet pulp in hessian sacks, the sharp dry crumbs  of pulp would go down the neck of ya shirt and after half an hours work and sweat would start to make it very sore. These again were in 64 kg hessian sacks (a hundred weight and a quarter) but being so bulky they stood four foot six high and almost  three foot wide, so to carry them they had to be well up onto shoulders and neck just to balance and walk with them.

I Remember the Threshing Machine Mishap

This was in the winter of 1948 when I was 10 years old. We were baling the straw and it was the binder to (save thatching straw) that was stood by. This binder was top heavy in shape and as the drawbar is lifted it weight shifted to behind its axle and the drawbar would fly into the air, and left the binder flat on its back. ----

We were playing around the yard; the threshing machine was here,
It took nine men to operate, and came three times a year,
Ozzy was the contractor, he was owner of all the machines,
One was stood aside this day; it bound the straw in sheaves.

Four of us thought were strong, see if the drawbar we could shift,
With a struggle got it off the ground, then lighter was the lift,
This machine was on two wheels, and top heavy was in shape,
At shoulder height it pulled us up, ten foot we dangled no escape.

Ozzy came with face like thunder, chewing on his pipe,
We dropped and run so fast, and hid away from gripe,
He found a whippy nut stick, and chased us when we showed,
All morning he kept it up with vigour, till too tired was he to follow.

Took five men to lift it back, as we watch from a distance,
For years he told us with a smile, you have to find the balance,
He will always be remembered, for his pipe, and oily cap,
A wirery man with hump from age, cheerful spoken apart from mishap.

Owd Fred

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