15 April 2017

Souvenirs

Over the years I have brought plenty of stones home - from the top of Ben Nevis to California, France, Greece  and the west coast of New Zealand. When I look at them, they remind me of those places and of course that is what souvenirs are meant for - to remember.

Earlier this week, Shirley and I were on Porth Trwyn beach on the west coast of Anglesey. We had gone there to watch the sun go down but Shirley picked up another souvenir to add to our collection:-
Beach stones are beautiful. They are of The Earth but smoothed by the ocean over hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. This one has distinctive layers that speak of some ancient sea or riverbed - millions of years back. If only the stones could speak to us, revealing their stories.

The town of Holyhead on Anglesey knows poverty. Not every home of course but in Holyhead the poverty is clearly visible. It seems a rather sad place on the very edge of Britain, looking bleakly over the Irish Sea. There are several  charity shops  there and half of these were jumbled, odorous places selling stuff that would never make the shelves in the Oxfam shop where I work each Wednesday. In poor towns the quality of donations will naturally fall.

We went into a scruffy little antiques shop on Market Street and there we spotted a box:-
Yes it was from our home city which used to be synonymous with good quality cutlery. Many sets of Sheffield cutlery or knives were given to couples as special wedding presents and because they were top quality items they were often stored in cupboards and never used. They would remain there for decades.

Anyway, the second souvenir we brought home from Anglesey was the set of dinner knives we discovered in the box. In pristine condition and only £20 - ready to transport back to the city where they were made. And we shall definitely use them. Living in this city of steel it would seem wrong to use any cutlery that wasn't made here.

28 comments:

  1. Those knives were a lucky find YP and the face that they are coming home makes it doubly so.
    The farmer and I always collected pebbles everywhere we
    went but to some extent I have forgotten where many of them came from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have put labels upon some of my stones but the origins of others are forgotten.

      Delete
  2. Two very nice and meaningful souvenirs - the best kind (perhaps the only kind) we should take home with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the great thing about rocks and pebbles is that they are free.

      Delete
  3. We used knives just like those everyday when I was young - I think almost everyone had something similar. My mother eventually gave them to the charity shop when she had a dishwasher. The handles were spoiled by the heat and chemicals used in the machine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been using a different set of Sheffield knives for the past ten years. They go in the dishwasher most days and there is some visible cracking in the bone handles but that set of six cost me £5 so I don't mind too much.

      Delete
  4. So similar to the good cutlery we had when I was a child...the set that came out for special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc., only. I still have a couple of the knives among my memorabilia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is a bit of a shame that many sets of good quality cutlery were never used and kept for "best".

      Delete
  5. There are many rock collectors in the world and they each have a reason to pick up rocks. My Dad collected agates and then polished them. My friend Mike is a geologist and he puts rock collections together for his granddaughters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Red Rock" was a drama series on the BBC.

      Delete
  6. I love stones too and have brought them back from many places. Like Weaver, though, I have forgotten where any of them came from!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote on this stone and wish I had done it for all my other stones.

      Delete
  7. Those knives are a brand classic - I am sure that we had some of those in our house as a kid.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modern knives usually fail to reflect workmanship and hand finishing. Thanks for calling by Stewart. Hope it's not too hot in Melbourne today.

      Delete
  8. I think all of us of or near a certain age used similar cutlery when we were children. My brother still does but then he will not entertain the idea of a mechanical dishwasher which, as has been mentioned, destroys the bone handles and the glue. You mentioned a beach near Holyhead and it made me think about the beach I used to play on by a cousin's home on the East side by Meolfre: it seems so long ago whereas it was in fact no more than 65 years - perhaps less (Should that be 'fewer'? Does it refer to time or years? Hey ho.). I don't recall ever going to the beach you mentioned. In fact although I've spent plenty of time on Anglesey in later life I've not been to Holyhead since I was a young child and I can't remember it at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pleased that my Anglesey chronicles have stirred memories in the Edwardian grey matter. It is probably good that all memories of Holyhead have been expunged.

      Delete
  9. Yep, we had knives like that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your family was very civilised then Helen.

      Delete
  10. Gregg just texted me a photo of a package that arrived for me yesterday. I'll bet it's my print! I can't wait to get home and open it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well - I hope it is Jennifer. It has taken so long to reach you.

      Delete
  11. My son has a great love for well made, beautiful things. He saw a video about a Sheffield business where they hand make scissors and had to have some. He talked his girlfriend into buying them for his 18th birthday so we don't have Sheffield knives but we do have scissors!
    There are various shells and stones of forgotten origin around here so these days I just take photos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we should label stones when we bring them home. Your son has a very discerning taste when it comes to scissors.

      Delete
  12. Fred has arrived! And I love him!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a high quality laser copy on card. I hope it is good enough for you Jennifer.

      Delete
    2. It's wonderful. I will be framing it as soon as I have a day off and putting it on my wall. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  13. Beautiful knives! I love the old box and label, too. Where is Arundel Street? Does this factory still exist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - surprisingly Pinders Cutlers do still exist. Arundel Street is in the centre of Sheffield.

      See:- http://www.pinder.co.uk/

      Delete
  14. Lovely knives. I use similiar bone handled knives every day; relics from my grandmother's cutlery drawer.

    Alphie

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.