Twelve members of Belford and District Local History Society spent a most interesting afternoon with David and Meg Thompson at Chillingham Barns Farm Museum, exploring farming and rural life in years gone by.
It was fascinating to find how many ingenious devices had been created to make life easier, before what we normally think of as mechanisation.
Among them were a washing machine from the mid-18th century, clockwork spits predating a rotisserie by a good century and reversible horse drawn ploughs. Among the many other items of interest were pedal threshers designed for use on a croft or smallholding, milk bottles which advertised everything from Kellog’s cornflakes to the Sunday Mirror, artificial feeders for piglets and mousetraps for four for the overrun kitchen.
David and Meg expertly guided us around the mysteries of their museum, helping even ‘townies’ understand their equipment and its purposes.
Our afternoon came to an end enjoying tea, biscuits and a good crack in their farm kitchen – an excellent end to a good season for the society. Our new season begins on September 26. All welcome at the Community Club at 7.30pm.