Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Winter Scene


The above painting was sold this week and is a winter scene near Brechfa.

This is probably not the best time of year to have work done on your central heating. However the plumber came yesterday and did some necessary work replacing fittings that were starting to go and better replaced than failing and causing major damage. One of the fittings was awkward to get at and also required a large spanner as it was 38mm he was struggling to shift it with a large adjustable spanner. Despite all his efforts it wouldn't move. I went and found a large opened ended spanner of the right size. Where is this all going I hear you yawn? Well the spanner in question was solid and well forged. It had little bend in it and when he used  all the effort went into turning the thread. None of it was dissipated into motion or movement as in an adjustable spanner. It goes without saying the solid spanner did the trick.

Okay so a good old fashioned forged spanner was the right tool and without it nothing worked. There are a lot of conclusions you can draw from this. However as far as I was concerned my mind went to a set of hand forged spanners my father had. They were made by my Uncle Jack. He made them using a furnace and anvil. You could probably have taken the propeller off the Titanic with one (okay slight exaggeration). My father used them in his workshop and later  Alex used them in the boatyard.

Anyway it brought back memories of my Uncle Jack. he was not a real uncle but a family friend. He was a confirmed bachelor and lived in a small terraced house in Small Heath, Birmingham. He was an engineer and could make anything from metal. He had been in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War working on aircraft. I recall going to his dark little house and having a treat of sweet cream from a tube on jelly whilst looking at watercolour paintings of bi-planes in the desert.

I never asked but assumed he had done them when he was out in the middle east during that war. I don't know what happened to him or the paintings. After my father died a long time ago I went back to Small Heath to see my "Uncle" but the house was in the hands of a new family who knew nothing of him.

The spanners? I donated most of them to the Gwili Railway where I thought they would be useful.
Happy New Year! Bit jaded this morning but not bad!

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