SP0468 : Forge Mill Needle Museum - scouring runners

taken 10 years ago, near to Redditch, Worcestershire, Great Britain

Forge Mill Needle Museum - scouring runners
Forge Mill Needle Museum - scouring runners
This lively photograph was taken from the only accessible mesh free corner that I could wedge a camera and tripod into and is 50:50 time and flash. The waterwheel drives a crankshft via gearing and this drives scouring runners on two floors. the runner closest is moving while the two on the right are disconnected with their drive rods roped up. The white vertical wooden beams oscillate back and forth and pass up to the floor above to drive a further 8 sets of runners - the white beams have the onamatopoeic name of whee-whaws.

These runners were used to scour needles to remove the scale left by hardening. Up to 60,000 needles were mixed with soap, grease and an abrasive into a tightly tied hessian and canvas package known as a sett. Each runner rolled two setts and the time of scouring could be from one day for ordinary needles to one week for the best and brightest. After scouring the needles were washed and placed in a new sett with olive oil and tin oxide to glaze the needles. This time they were only rolled for 2-3 hours.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SP0468, 81 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 5 November, 2011   (more nearby)
Saturday, 5 November, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Industry 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0457 6855 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:18.9023N 1:56.0630W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0457 6855
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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Other Tags
Industrial Heritage  Needle Mill  Watermill  Scouring 

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