‘Hammered against their natural curve…’

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s instruction is to lay it out flat on a level outdoor area, such as a lawn, smear something sticky and sweet around its perimeter to attract the insects, take your clothes off, and skip about in the middle humming a catchy tune – you may, if you wish, keep your socks on.

It’s a drab slim unremarkable looking volume, but it is packed full with household tips and useful things to make. Yes, it’s that old junk shop book of mine, The 1954 Gadgets Annual compiled by W. N. Shaw:

DSCN3900Those were the days, not long after World War II when times were hard and people skimped and saved, when things were repaired rather than being thrown away, and if you needed an item for the house or garden you didn’t go out and buy one, you went out to your garden shed and made one yourself. You could also regularly subscribe to the popular Gadgets Magazine to see what exiting things other thrifty folk had been up to…
Let’s have a quick flick through these yellowing pages to get an idea of the things on offer: Small Gaskets For Every Job, How to Colour Code Your Workshop Equipment, Use a Penholder as a Modelling Knife, Threading a Needle With Wool (the bachelor’s way!), A Self-Lighting Screwdriver, A Compact String Cutter…
Let us have a look at page 90:

DSCN4354‘Albert… Albert!… Albert!…’
‘Oh, hello dear…’
‘What the… what in heaven’s name are you doing? Do you know what time it is?’
‘Er, well Madge, it’s just coming up to a quarter past eleven, but, I think my watch might have gained a minute or so since I… What are you doing up dear? I thought that you’d gone to bed.’
‘Well Albert, I had, but there was something that caught my attention.’
‘Oh?… What was that?’
‘Well, it was a very loud bang bang bang, banging noise echoing around the house!’
‘Ah, that would be me… You see you can easily rejuvenate tired springs by…’
‘Albert, what is that… on my clean kitchen table?’
‘Ah it’s the spring out of my bicycle pump, I was just…’
‘It’s oily!’
‘Well yes, a little bit oily, but…’
‘Yes dear?’
‘Come to bed… right now! I have something that I want you to do for me…’
‘Ah… right…’
‘Can’t I just pop this spring back into the…? It’ll only take a minute…’
‘No Albert!… Come along… Now!…’


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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3 Responses to ‘Hammered against their natural curve…’

  1. Forgive me, but isn’t Madge getting a little bold these days? Although I did chuckle at Albert’s awkward “Ah…right….” Also, I’m not so sure that hammering a spring against its natural curve would work that well. I haven’t hammered many springs in my time, but surely it would…..have a negative impact on the springing motion?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      “Madge getting a little bold…” I don’t know, but what they get up to in the privacy of their own paragraph is nothing to do with me…
      Springs: I really don’t know, it might be ‘an old husband’s tale’, something that people did, but not knowing if it worked or not… I’ll bet there were lots of hammers flying about the place – whoa! Watch your head!…

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