Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 2 November 2013
New dogs, old tricks
In contrast to the beautiful, grumpy cat pumpkin of the previous post, here is my effort hanging up outside the same pub.
You can imagine how shamed I was when I saw what the family had come up with inside, but - to be fair - I didn't have much time to make it, being contractually obliged to organise hot punch for a shop over the road. This is why I used a tank-cutter and electric drill (and I call myself a sculptor...), going for the long-distant approach by illuminating the inside with a couple of Glow-Sticks. As it got dark, I only then realised how pathetically dim these sticks were, compared to the same ones I had bought last year, which shone out brilliantly for a full 24 hours. Most people walked beneath it, unaware of it's presence.
On the night, the punch was dispensed (by a beautiful serving-wench) using what is known as a 'Toddy-Lifter', and this, at least, was a great success.
The Bell in Walcot Street is right next to the Bath Aqua Glass company and workshop, and I managed to get them to blow a toddy-lifter at short notice, which was used to great effect - see photo below.
These things were in use for a short period at the beginning of the 19th century - quite often at coaching-inns just like The Bell (currently undergoing external renovations, hence scaffold) - but fell out of fashion quite quickly.
They are a simple 'pipette' device with holes top and bottom, and you dip the bulb into the toddy, put your thumb over the top hole, lift out the toddy, position it over the glass then release it - all without the use of a ladle. I had provided the beautiful serving-wench with a ladle, just in case the lifter was too slow, but in the event she dispensed over 80 cup-fulls without having to use it.
I think that this may be the first toddy-lifter to have been made and used for almost 200 years, and because many people asked where they could buy one for a Christmas present, the glass blowers will now add it to their range in time for that market.
I may have made a bit of history this Halloween...