Sunday, September 9, 2012

Doug Bradbury's Farriery Museum

Jonathan gave me an afternoon to go up to Clay Cross and visit the museum put together by Doug Bradbury, FWCF.  Doug started his working life as a miner, but got moved into the blacksmiths shop after developing pneumonia.  He started shoeing the pit ponies there because his boss had a bad back, and the rest, as they say, is history.  The museum has been his passion for the last eight or ten years, after the loss of a leg forced his retirement.  It is absolutely and incredible collection encompassing farriery, mining and pit ponies, local history and both World Wars.  I was only there for a few hours and barely scratched the surface of it. 

Pit Pony head gear: a mask for taking them out of the pit for a vacation (left), a head covering (middle) and a complete head covering with eye protectors and headlamp (right).

Ankylosis, this specimen came from an horse that worked in a rail yard and had his ankles subjected to constant bending and twisting.  Doug had a massive collection of bones in various states of distress, as well as hoof capsules, photographs and xrays collected throughout his career.  Apparently he had just had a vet student visiting and she had spent an entire day going through his xray collection alone!

A spare shoe kit for the stage coach.  It all folds up and is neatly packaged.  The shoe is hinged at the toe only so that it can fit a wide range of feet.  It is designed to be a patch to stay on long enough only to reach the next stop.

Tie-on Lawn Boots.  Lawn boots were put on horses and ponies engaged in cutting the grass on tennis courts and cricket pitches so that they wouldn't gouge the surface.

Another type of Lawn Boot, this one screws on and tightens over the heels of the shoe.

We aren't sure what this shoe is for.  It was on a shoe board for an AWCF exam, but that doesn't clarify its purpose at all.

The anvil shaped stamp on this shoe is important.  It was a mark issued to all members of the National Master Farriers' and Blacksmiths' Association which they were supposed to use to mark all of their work with.  Work that was unmarked was deemed illegal and would not be serviced by legitimate farriers.

This is fairly self-explanatory.

A complete kit of sharps/drive in studs.

It would have been the apprentice's job to pop out the old studs and resharpen or replace them.  They were mild steel and wore out quickly.

A shoe board from the late nineteenth century, completely hammer finished.

The same shoe board with the top five shoes flipped over to show the hoof surface.  The bottom two have had the nail holes filled with copper and are flat, so there's not really any reason to flip them.

Nippers made by an army farrier out of old rasps.  All of his tools were made from old rasps, but these stood out because of all the leverage built into them for trimming draft horses.

Horseshoe making kit from WWI.  The mold specified where farriers were supposed to put the nails.  The blank spot in the heel is where a stamp with the size of the shoe (in this case a 5F) was put.  The stamp is just to the left of the mold.  Above is the horse shoe that came out of the mold, all ready for stamping and pritcheling.  The blacksmiths making these shoes were paid a pittance, but more importantly they were given medals and letters from the government so that they could not be accused of cowardice for not joining the war effort.

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