High Tech and Low Tech

Contributed by Alan

High Tech and Low Tech

I originally was going to post an entry about a 4-foot long piece of Concorde wing that I have - a test article used to do destructive testing in the 1960s. Instead, the photo shows a sledge hammer head. It was in my Grandad's shed when he passed away in 1973. I have had it in my toolbox for nearly 40 years. Yesterday I decided to fit it to a new hickory handle I bought for it, and I took the sanding disk to the hammer head and cleaned it up. On the top surface I found some initials punched into it. I couldn't make them out at first and then it clicked. "NCB". My Grandad was a Blacksmith to trade and ended up working in the Wellesley, Seafield and Francis coal mines in Fife. He was very skilled with his hands and I regret not knowing him better - I was only 11 when he passed away, too early, at 63. My other Grandad worked on the farms in Fife as a labourer before "going down the pit". My parents met when they were working for the NCB as administrators. Today, there's little left to show for that industry. Few people would recognise what "NCB" stands for now. That hammer is part of my history, and part of the UK's. Just as important as that bit of Concorde wing.

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The Fife coal mines.


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