1 EAGLETON NOTES: Peaty Odds And Ends

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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Peaty Odds And Ends

Arising from the Peat Posts, Monica asked whether I had any pictures of the peats being burned. The answer lies in this photo of a fire in an original Black House at Arnol.


Another point that I was reminded about was the fact that before the peats were brought home by tractor and lorry the women often brought them home on their backs in creels. So that the time wasn't wasted (and as an early example of women multi-tasking) they also knitted whilst they were walking.



Coll Pottery (about which I have many times promised to blog) also produced models of the Peat Ladies as they were called. This is a photo I took many moons ago.

26 comments:

  1. I do like the figurine. I guess the women were happy when the tractor arrived.

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  2. While the women were bringing the peat in, I guess the men were doing more important things like playing dominoes and making whisky.

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    1. This wasn't Yorkshire, YP, whatever the men were doing, it was neither of those things.

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  3. Intresting info.
    I wonder if I can do that. There must be games where women compete like Highlander games. Weird I haven't heard of them.

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    1. Actually, Maywyn, I saw a Highland Games on television recently and there was a woman caber tosser. Definitely a first in my experience.

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  4. Love all three images - thanks!!! And the visual explanation of what a 'creel' is... (I think I tried to look it up before but found nothing that quite made sense in this context.)

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  5. Now the peat fire burning in the middle of the room is a new one for me. I'm used to fires in the middle of a tepee .

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  6. I wish I could smell the smoke, then the picture would be complete. I'v tried knitting while I walked, but it wasn't very successful as I am not very good at knitting without looking. But my Mum could.
    I'm looking forward to the Coll Pottery 1,2,and 3 posts.

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    1. Kate, I haven't yet managed to get my blog to smell and whilst I once knitted a scarf (I was about 7 or 8) the idea of trying to walk at the same time is beyond my imagination. I'm afraid that the history of Coll Pottery would merit a book that I'm unlikely ever to write.

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  7. Very interesting.... and how smoky it was... and I can’t imagine knitting and walking myself, I doubt it would be usable knitting if I did!
    Thank you for an interesting view of ‘the olden days’.

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    1. Fiona, I know from being in that blackhouse and also from burning peats in a Rayburn and solid fuel stove that the smell/aroma is all pervading and, in the blackhouse, the smoke is eye-watering. I'm glad you found the series interesting.

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  8. I love that first photo, Graham. It's terrific!

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  9. This wonderful post of yours, Mr. Edwards, certainly proves that, although they don't, women could and should rule the world!!!! Do you think men would have knitted socks for their families whilst carrying heavy peat from place to place? Not on your life!! They would have been complaining and smoking their pipes the whole way!

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    1. Thank you, Mrs Thyme, I reluctantly have to agree that you may well be correct.

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  10. I love the photo and information you've shared, thank you :-) Kind of reminds me of what my ancestors might have lived.

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    1. Amy, on the Island that life is not so long ago. There were still a few occupied blackhouses when I came to the Island in the '70s.

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  11. Thank you Graham, I really found your peat series very fascinating. As for multitasking women - the knitting and chatting I can do, just not the walking with peat laden basket, chatting and knitting!

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    1. Lynda, the women went one better. They used to take the fishermen out to the boats on their back so that they didn't get their feet wet.

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  12. Yes, lovely figurine and piece of cultural history.

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    1. Hello, Carol. Good to see you.

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    2. Hi Graham, after I hit publish I realised how short and succinct my comment had been. I think about you often and pop in to read from time to time. I loved this blog post because it reminded me of how different parts of the world can be based on where we are in the world. Wishing you a very happy Christmas. best wished for 2019 from Tropical Far North Queensland.

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    3. Thank you, Carol. I hope that 2019 brings you good health and a happy heart.

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