Tools for winter jobs

Finch Foundry was one one the largest tool manufacturers in the south west and mainly supplied the farmers and miners who lived in and around Sticklepath

At this time of year, a variety of tools made at the foundry were used by local farmers, gardeners and blacksmiths.

  • Furze hook - furze is an old West Country name for gorse. This long hook was used for clearing gorse from pastureland. Its size and weight made short work of the dense, prickly plant.
  • Turnip hook - the turnip hook has a special feature. The pointy hook on the end was for lifting the vegetables and the blade was used for cutting the leaves off the top of the turnip. A skilled turnip harvester was able to lift the turnip, flip it in the air on the upward stroke and cut off the top in a swift downward stroke as it fell.
  • Shovel - the Finch's produced over eight different types of spade and shovel, each for different jobs. The curved blade of the Devon shovel is best suited for loose, sandy soils; while the sharp edged, narrower Cornish shovel was ideal for dense, clay-bearing soils.
  • Coke fork - the Finch's fork range varied greatly from two-tined hay forks up to the monstrous ten-tined coke fork. Each fork could be produced in a range of lengths from nine inches up to thirteen inches (if you were strong enough to lift it). The coke fork was preferred over a shovel, as it was easier to get into a coke pile, would carry more than a shovel and would leave any dust and small particles behind.