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16 October 2014
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A Farmer's Wrought Iron Widget

About thirty years ago a Mournes farmer friend of mine, Irwin Orr , gave me an object made of iron.
Article written by Brian Willis.

County Down

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A Farmer's Wrought Iron Widget

About thirty years ago a Mournes farmer friend of mine, Irwin Orr , gave me this object. He wouldn't tell me what it was and the only clues he gave were that many years ago these items were commonly used in the farming community and played a pivotal role in agriculture.

Wrought Iron 'Thingie'
One foot ruler for scale

As you can see from the photo it is about a foot long (31cm) and appears to be made from wrought iron. Hand wrought too, probably by the local blacksmith. The two circular lugs have holes in them and are offset. i.e. the "jaws" are not in the centre of the device. The nine holes along the "back" are all more or less the same size but some appear to be worn more than others. The iron is about 1/2 inch (1cm) thick. It could be some form of clamp but I really don't know.

Any thoughts? Maybe you still use one? Maybe your father used one?

It has been lying amongst other bits and bobs of junk in an old tea chest in the garage for a long time now and it would be nice to know the history.

Solution offered

I've had a response from "Ganaway" (See the letter below) suggesting I should visit the horse ploughing at Cloughey for the answer to my quest. We took up the suggestion and here's what we found.


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