Friday, 5 March 2010

Wooden dog-tongs II

Ecclesiastical wooden dog-tongs look as impressive as you'd expect:


From the notes accompanying the exhibit:
In the 18th century [and later according to Howells, as cited in the previous post], it was quite usual for people living in rural areas to take their dogs to church. As dogs cannot always be relied on to behave properly, many churches kept a pair of these expanding tongs handy so that they could separate aggressive animals. This pair with its iron grips would work best on long-haired, rather than short-haired dogs.
I wonder what short-haired dog-tongs looked like? Tipped with felt pads perhaps?

(Thanks to Jonathan Law for the research work.)

UPDATE: When I picture these dog-tongs I see a grim but secretly amused RS Thomas wielding them. It's a not unpleasant image.


2 comments:

Gadjo Dilo said...

Yes, I also see R. S. Thomas as a tongs man. Very possibly he had tongs for everything: his parishioners, his family, The English... The Welsh. (I love his poetry, don't get me wrong :-) )

Gaw said...

Spot on there Gadjo.