Old Welsh hill farmer's chair

Contributed by JUDE HASLAM

Old Welsh hill farmer's chair

A friend of mine found this old, rustic chair in a tumbledown cottage on a mountain above the Elan Valley in Mid-Wales. He was walking in the region one day back in about 1975. He came upon the ruin and all that was left inside was the chair. My friend carried it on his back, down the mountain and returned home to Leicestershire with it. He believed it was abandoned and brought it back for preservation.On emigrating to Canada in 1977 he passed it on to me.
I think of it as a relic of an old style of farming life. It was probably made at the cottage as it is of a simple, functional, vernacular style. I imagine it was originally a family chair. The family would have been fairly poor and making a living, probably by keeping sheep. The chair is historic and very proud, sturdy and polished with use. This type of chair may have been made by peasant folk all the world over, and are still in use today in many poor, agricultural regions, though not so much in the UK nowadays. It makes me think of a common bond amongst poor folk and their daily lives around the world and throughout history.

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