Monday 3 January 2022

A fragment of the True Bomb

We had a spill of rain on Christmas Day and there was a bit of damage to the lane . . . although the water gave the drain a good flush through - removing the soggy sycamore [Acer pseudoplatanus] leaves that I should have swept up in the fall. There are some things that are best done with machinery, if available; but some a best done with hand-tools. Clearing drains is better with a slash-hook and shovel because even the 30cm bucket of a digger will do damage by ripping out stably embedded rocks and allowing more severe erosion next flood-time.

On the subsequent days several members of my family and I were tricking about with shovels, wheel-barrows and rakes: selectively transferring small rocks and gritty material from the drain to the lane so that the postman could deliver all the missing Christmas cards without doing a sproinnngg on his suspension. A week later, it is almost on a can't see the join level. There was an interesting turn up for the book about halfway up the lane. I was lifting loose stones from the bottom of the drain, when a very flat one came up in my hand - about 20cm x 12cm and shaped like South America [R]. It has a couple of the same square bosses which appear on the piece of the True Bomb which demolished the house we live in 81 years ago on 2nd Jan 1941. So, provisionally, we have another fragment of that tragic jigsaw.

I'm not going actively looking for more because it is hard to properly establish provenance without the help of an archaeologist or a forensic metallurgist and their equipment. And don't mention metal detectors - there are buckets [literally buckets in at least two cases] of miscellaneous iron-mongery thrun in the ditches across the property.

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