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Is it in the blood ?


tonymaillman
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Despite the loss - and slowly dwindling demise - of many of the REAL skills in crafting items, it seems that certain people 'take' to a certain craft much better than someone else, many of the people I know who produce historical items of many kinds have been quite shocked to find that when they've delved into their family tree they find that the skill they now re-create was actually the one their ancestors relied upon for their living :P

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It just seems uncanny that quite a number of people seem to follow along the same lines as their ancestory ......... would make a good survey to find out exactly what proportion of people can adapt to skills they didnt think they had, but were part of their previous generations everyday lives :)

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  • 11 months later...
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My father, the middle one of 5 boys, was orphaned in 1917 at the age of 9 and brought up separately from his brothers. He was "adopted" by a childless couple who were, if you'll excuse the expression but I can't find one more appropriate, "upper working class". He was intelligent and artistic and, despite leaving school as a part-timer aged 13, went to night school where he studied art and design and gained the School Certificate. He became a printer's engraver and commercial artist until after the war when he studied to become an optician. He was also very musical and played drums semi-professionally, and sometimes piano, in a dance band. He sang too - through a megaphone!

 

Dad knew little about his ancestry. He remembered his mother as a small woman who looked a lot like me and his father as a tall man who was a good singer - when he'd had a couple of pints. He also knew, vaguely, that his grandfather had been a blacksmith.

 

The point of my ramblings is this. Dad was one of those people who you'd describe as "good with his hands". As an optician he also made frames, from perspex, which he sold; he was also an extremely good bricklayer and built a very professional extension on the last house he owned. As an artist he worked a lot with plastic and metal and created ornaments, clocks, lamps etc.

 

Comes the time when my brother starts very serious ancestor research and what does he find? All the paternal ancestors, down to our father's father, were blacksmiths. The trade was handed down from father to sons since at least the 17th century. They were not farriers, they didn't shoe horses, they made machinery and worked metal in many ways. Research has shown that our grandfather, his 2 brothers and their father all worked on the Ship Canal bridges in Warrington at the turn of the 20th century, though this was not their home town.

 

I'm "good with my hands" too, very practical. Perhaps the spirit of Harry (my dad), Jack, Bob, Harry, Bill, Bill and so on going way way back, lives on in me. It lives in my artistic, semi-pro musician son and my "I can fix it" elder daughter. :wink:

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Tony said

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When they've delved into their family tree they find that the skill they now re-create was actually the one their ancestors relied upon for their living.

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There must have been a load of old cobblers in the Skelenbury family then! :lol::lol::lol:

 

Bill :)

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