#372 theoldmortuary ponders

Tallow Pot

A great day out yesterday with a few more blogs to come but this is the tale of a tallow pot. Our travels took us to Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton in West Sussex. I was last there more than 30 years ago with my parents and small son. The Museum preserves ancient buildings and the crafts and skills that are needed for their continuous care.

My dad was an engineer but his great love was carpentry. Despite living in Essex the museum, briefly, became one of his favourite places to visit.

I had forgotten that, but the smells and tools of the Carpentry work shop brought decades old memories and grief sharply to mind. How strange that it would be a stinky old tallow pot that would be my trigger.

With apologies to anyone unfamiliar with a really popular TV programme, this blog goes off on a tangent now. I suppose the link is the curious importance we give to things that are linked to people we have loved and lost. FYI I do not treasure my dads old tallow pot, that really would be a tribute too far. A quick sniff yesterday was a fabulous treat though.

The repair shop is filmed at Weald and Downland Museum. I believe the programme can be seen around the world. The premise of the programme is that an ensemble of very talented craftspeople have the skills to fix almost anything the public can bring to the picturesque barn.One of the original buildings in the museum grounds, the ban has been set up as a multi- functional work-shop studio. Inevitably for good T.V the objects chosen for refurbishment are often associated with someone who has died or that have a good back story. It is a rather gentle, slow programme and the talents of the craftspeople are genuinely impressive. Coincidentally they were filming yesterday so we could not visit the barn too closely.

But we got a very cheery wave from the main presenter, Jay, just moments before we took this photo.

Harpooned a bit by decades old grief, we had the most glorious day out, grief really is a part of normal life for many people, it is not always unwelcome. Happy memories are life affirming.