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Folklore: Treacle mines

Related threads:
Folklore: Of Treacle Mines, Ice Worms and ??? (43)
Tune Req: Tadley Treacle Mining Disaster (3)


Penny S. 02 Mar 03 - 06:29 AM
John MacKenzie 02 Mar 03 - 06:46 AM
John MacKenzie 02 Mar 03 - 06:52 AM
DMcG 02 Mar 03 - 06:53 AM
Penny S. 02 Mar 03 - 07:14 AM
Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland 02 Mar 03 - 07:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Mar 03 - 08:17 AM
Mr Red 02 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM
breezy 02 Mar 03 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Bystander 02 Mar 03 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,willy barden 02 Mar 03 - 10:23 AM
Col K 02 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM
Mrs.Duck 02 Mar 03 - 11:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Mar 03 - 12:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Mar 03 - 12:53 PM
TNDARLN 02 Mar 03 - 02:05 PM
Nemesis 02 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM
SussexCarole 02 Mar 03 - 03:04 PM
Dave Bryant 03 Mar 03 - 05:53 AM
KingBrilliant 03 Mar 03 - 06:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Mar 03 - 07:32 AM
Deni-C 03 Mar 03 - 08:53 AM
Gubby 03 Mar 03 - 09:00 AM
Mr Red 03 Mar 03 - 09:26 AM
Mr Red 03 Mar 03 - 09:28 AM
Gervase 03 Mar 03 - 09:34 AM
greg stephens 03 Mar 03 - 11:13 AM
Schantieman 03 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM
Bill D 03 Mar 03 - 05:45 PM
Burke 03 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Mar 03 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Les B. 03 Mar 03 - 10:07 PM
Steve Parkes 04 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM
Hrothgar 04 Mar 03 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 04 Mar 03 - 12:19 PM
Gareth 04 Mar 03 - 12:24 PM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 03 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 04 Mar 03 - 12:30 PM
Burke 04 Mar 03 - 12:33 PM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 03 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 04 Mar 03 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Les B. 04 Mar 03 - 12:45 PM
Mr Red 04 Mar 03 - 05:58 PM
Penny S. 05 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM
Burke 05 Mar 03 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Keith A 06 Mar 03 - 03:00 AM
Gurney 06 Mar 03 - 04:30 AM
greg stephens 06 Mar 03 - 04:42 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,The Admiral 06 Mar 03 - 10:44 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 06:29 AM

On Friday my father, while watching Bill Oddie wandering through a field of tall docks, recalled his father taking about Patcham Dockyards and Treacle Mines. I have searched for references to these, and found plenty on the latter. Some Sussex geologist (I deduce) has a fancy website on mining the stuff, and there are other references elsewhere. Most of the references seem to date to the 1930's, though some attribute a greater age to the concept, which in one place is recorded as being part of the British folk tradition. (Music connection - a Kentish Morris side.)

Can anyone throw any light on the origin of the idea of treacle mines - I don't want the cod history of prospectors uncovering veins of theriaciferous rock - or the buried army molasses - was it in some music hall sketch, some precursor of the Pythons' parrot? An author was producing stories in the Worthing area of Sussex between the WW wars, but there are enough references in other parts of England to suggest that that may not have been the origin.

And if anyone can throw any light on the Dockyards, that would be a help as well.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 06:46 AM

I've never heard of treacle mines, only jam butty mines, and they are in Knotty Ash nr. Liverpool. Sounds interesting though, I shall investigate.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 06:52 AM

Go to Dogpile [the search engine], and put in Treacle Mine, there is loads of information.
Giok.......A mine of information!!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 06:53 AM

Surely you all know of the treacle well in Alice in Wonderland?
Perhaps a treacle mine is related in some way.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 07:14 AM

The Alice in Wonderland treacle well is derived from the treacle well in St Frideswide's churchyard in Oxford, a healing well, as the old use of the word treacle was for a healing substance or balm - but the mines are certainly referring to the sticky stuff.

I googled, rather than dogpiled, but most of the references I found were from within the world in which the mines exist, rather than from our world, in which they are a local conceit. Or is that too posh a way of putting it? What I'm interested in is the idea of the treacle mine as a joke, which seems to encourage, both in the 30's and now, an extended riff on a simple idea.

The closest to what I wanted to know was on the Frittenden website, where it is said that locals sent London tourists off to look for the mines as a joke. But why treacle mines - why not doughnut mines? Jam mines? Sausage quarries?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 07:38 AM

In Scotland there was an American who thought that we in Scotland mined for Porridge.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 08:17 AM

The village of Wareside, about 3 miles from where I sit, is renowned locally for its treacle mines. I did not know that the storywas more widespread.
Tam, I suppose it is easier drill for the porridge than dig it up.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM

Don't forget the Jam Butty mines in Notty Ash

Tattyfalarious, under the circumstances. Have you ever been Tattyfalarious under the curcumstances missus?

(ref Ken Dodd for the bewildered)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: breezy
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 09:41 AM

'Near Wookey hole in days gone by lived three unlucky men
The first fell down a treacle mine and was never seen again.
Chorus
And all the birds cried 'Fancy that'
And all the birds cried'Fancy that'
And all the birds cried'Fancy that'
to hear this unlucky tale

from West Heath J.m.infants school, Brum.
music lessons in 1970s


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Bystander
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 09:52 AM

When I moved to Sussex in the 50's I heard references to treacle mines all over the county. Work-shy people were said to work in them ("He's at his usual job, working in the Rusper Treacle Mine"), people who were late were said to have got stuck in them, etc. This is very much the typical humour of the Sussex 'yokel' of Victorian times and probably a lot earlier.
Check www.treaclemine.freeserve.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,willy barden
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 10:23 AM

the Kentish treacle mines (and there are many!) are a very long standing joke on the credulous or extremely drunk ( on Ketish cider) - the joke certainly predates my greatgrandfather who was born in Rye about 1860. It should be pointed out the there are all kinds of mines in Kent - for stone, lime, iron ore and any kind of cave whose origin is obscure can be referred to as an entrance to the old treacle mines.

It seems the joke continues to roll on


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Col K
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM

Don't forget that in Lancashire there are the Sabden Treacle Mines.
Sabden is a small village near Pendle Hill in E. Lancs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 11:49 AM

and I thought they were at Tockholes Colin near Blackburn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 12:51 PM

Definitely Sabden, Mrs D. I've been! And what a delightful experience it was.

It was also around that area that 'Larnin pills' were made. One day a tourist to the Pendle area was watching an old farmer picking up little black balls from the fields, studying them closely and then either discarding them or putting them in a sack depending what he saw.

Unable to contain himself any longer the tourist asked the farmer what he was doing, to which the farmer replied,

"Collectin' Larnin pills."

The tourist was impressed and asked if he could purchase some. The farmer though long and hard and told the tourist they would be £5 each. The tourist bought 4 and, pleased with his purchase instanly swallowed one.

"Good grief" he cried "they taste like sheep shit!"

"Tha's larnin," the farmer replied. "Tha's larnin..."

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 12:53 PM

I saw the story on a poster in a gift shop in Clitheroe BTW so it must be true...

:D


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: TNDARLN
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:05 PM

How do you pronounce "treacle"? Thanks.

TD- who has a recipe for treacle bread out, ready to bake.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Nemesis
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM

I live in Worthing Sussex .. and there was a local history article in the local papers recently about the treacle mines .. BRB havinging a look


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: SussexCarole
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 03:04 PM

Noel Dumbrell sings song of the Sompting Treacle Mines - he has recently released CD - not sure if it's on there - will check


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:53 AM

I'm surprised that none of the "Seven Champions" molly dancers from Kent have posted on this thread. The reason that they "black-up" goes back to the days when the side was started by workers in the Frittenden Treacle Mines.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 06:21 AM

Surely they're in Cookham Dean in Berkshire???? That's what my Grandad told me......

Kris


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 07:32 AM

The Edwardian writer E Nesbit had a story involving treacle mines. (Well I think it was a sea of treacle that solidified and turned into toffee.) That would have been around 1900. She could have been drawing on an existing joke tradition, or maybe that was the origin of it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Deni-C
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 08:53 AM

songwriter, BARRY GEE has written a terrific song called the Tamberton Treacle Mine Disaster. It goes down a bomb with audiences......

He gives this hilarious story first about where the mines are, just outside Plymouth and the man who first discovered them etc....

Cheers
deni


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Gubby
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:00 AM

I believe there is a treacle mine in Egloskerry Cornwall!
but thats a sticky subject!
I'd better ask the locals.

Gub


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:26 AM

Gubby, Penny S re sticky stuff **G**

Not a lot of people know this but:-
In the days before the dole any hand-out was referred to lovingly as the "Treacle Stick" because Treacle was not spooned out of the tub it came in, it was allowed to adhere to a stick and dispensed into the customers container in that long stringy drip. At the end of the tub or if they had their own stick (I know not if) the stick could be given to a child as a treat to lick. Hence any hand-out could be called a treaclestick. Eventually the dole would be known as "On the Treaclestick" in the Midlands much as Glasga called it "On the Brew".

By the 70's I knew a social worker who edited a paper/magazine called "The Treaclestick". It was a far left propaganda rag aimed at informing Social Workers and their "clients" as much as an intellectual exercise in Government bashing. A sort of "Big Issue" with more attitude.

<PEDANT ON> FWIW Treacle is black and Golden Syrup isn't. Modern usage decrees we call it Black Treacle and treacle respectively. Oh the joys of language

<PEDANT OFF>


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:28 AM

Oh I forgot but it is obvious - I think there is a link here between treacle mines and treaclestick and dole.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Gervase
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:34 AM

My ex has written a book on Wareside, and in her researches she found that the expression 'treacle miners' was often used for those who carted night-soil (human faeces) for use as a fertiliser. It's one of the best ways of enriching soil and from the 17th to 19th centuries, with the growth of towns but the inefficiency of the sewage systems, the night-soil carters were darned important. Not exactly fragrant, though!
The White Horse pub in Wareside has a cod history of the local treacle mines which is well worth a read - total nonsense, but very funny.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 11:13 AM

Well, there have been a lot of made-up stories about treacle mines in previous posts. The actual treacle mines are in Ulpha, in the Duddon valley in Cumberland, and were going strong pre-1900. Anyway, that's what my grandfather, and everyone else in the area, would tell us kids.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Schantieman
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM

...and then of course, there are the liquorice mines near Pontefract.   Duck territory, I think!?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:45 PM

but the REAL amazing thing is the Swiss Spaghetti harvest (short clip) , documented by the TV show "Panorama" in 1953...still a classic.

"It is not only in Britain that spring this year has taken everyone by surprise. Here in the Ticino, on the borders of Switzerland and Italy, the slopes overlooking Lake Lugano have already burst into flower. But what, you may ask, has the early and welcome arrival of bees and blossom to do with food ? It is simply that the past winter, one of the mildest in living memory, has also resulted in an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop. The last two weeks of March are an anxious time for the spaghetti farmer. There is always the chance of a late frost which, while not entirely ruining his crop, generally impairs the flavour and makes it difficult for him to obtain top prices in world markets."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Burke
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM

Pronounced pretty much the way you'd expect. Long e. trE'cl

Are treacle & molasses interchangeable in recipes? From what I found in OED, I think treacle might be sweeter, but it's not clear.

I found this distiction at OED:
treacle: a. The uncrystallized syrup produced in the process of refining sugar; also sometimes extended to the uncrystallizable syrup that drains from raw sugar; = MOLASSES

Note to molasses: In technical language, molasses is applied to the drainings of raw sugar and treacle to the syrup from sugar in the process of refining.

Oh sorry! Did they turn to sugar as a source for treacle after the mines were worked out?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 08:11 PM

And here's a picture of one of Tate and Lyle's rather spendid Black Treacle tins, and a page about the whole subject of golden syrup and black treacle from the makers. But they keep quiet about the treacle mines.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 10:07 PM

Hmm - Treacle mines sound like the Enlish version of the fabled Big Rock Candy Mountain (or vice versa).

I kind of get the idea of the term "cod history" from context, as used above, but can someone give a definition. This side of the pond cod generally refers to a fish.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM

I saw Ken Dodd (Liverpool comedian and National Treasure) at the Hippodrome in Birmingham in 1964. He made a lot of cracks about local places, including "the treacle mines in Bloxwich" -- the town where I was born. He also talked about snuff quarries and similar unlikely sources of life's necessities. I used to think he'd made them all up, but I'm pretty sure now he draws on an old tradition of cod origins.

But there really is a treacle mine -- as in "brimstone and treacle" -- in Shropshire. It's part of the Blist's Hill Open Air Museum in Ironbridge Gorge. (Go and see it all: the Iron Bridge, the iron works, Abraham Darby's blast furnace. Be prepared for a long day, and a second visit.) It's called the Tar Tunnel , and is an adit that goes a long way into the side of the valley to a source of "tar", natural bitumen. It still runs out, though in far less volume than in its heyday. It was used for a lot of things, including medicinal use as "tar water" (vide Great Expectations).

Isn't the Mudcat educational?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Hrothgar
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 05:52 AM

Didn't treacle originate in Ireland?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:19 PM

Les B., if you go to The authoritative mines site you will see a lot of apparent histories of treacle mines. Of my own personal knowledge, I know some of them cannot be real. I don't know why I used "cod" to define an invented humorous history, full of detail to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. I don't know why, if that is correct usage, it is so. Related to red herring, maybe!
If you google the terms "treacle mine" and "treacle mines" you will find a good number of other sites which play the same trick, some with geological diagrams. There seems to be something about the term that encourages it. One of my ICT Club at school, who had not hitherto heard of treacle mines, and had not seen any of the sites, when told of them to search at home, immediately produced the concept of the Great Treacle Sea, which is obviously the source of at least some of the deposits of molassinite.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Gareth
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:24 PM

Treacle Mines ? Treacle Mines ! Don't talk to me about Treacle Mines. Do you realise the misery and destruction that the Treacle Industry has left in these valleys.

I see them now passing outside my windows, gaunt old treaclers, gasping for breath, their bodies destroyed, by the sugar dust coating and frosting their lungs. I see the tankers delivering bulk insulin to the pharmacy. And I see our landscape dominated by the mounds of waste dumped by the mines, the streams turned into thick dribbles of golden syrup by the run off from the tips.

Aye butty, it was an industry, and the source of wealth to many in London, but the Treacle Mine owners were a hard rapacious lot. Children barely able to walk condemned to slavery in the sweet cloying darkness, pulling trams of raw treacle to the shafts, and all for a halfpenny a day. Treaclers, working naked in their stalls, hacking away with their sugar tongs, listening for the first "gloop" that was the harbinger of a roof fall, risking being buried under tons of crude molasses. No naked flames allowed in case of explosion.

Oh yes, we had the union, The South Wales Federation of Treaclers to protect our interests, but it was a war, a war between men and masters. These valleys still remember the army being sent to open fire on striking treaclers, when our women and bains starved, and scavenged the tips looking for scraps of treacle, missed by the washing screens.

Remember that, in your comfortable homes when you open a tin of treacle, there's blood on that tin.


Gareth.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:28 PM

Then there was the family of moles travelling underground, and the baby at the back said "I can smell treacle" so the family stopped, and all sniffed the air, but couldn't smell treacle.
On they went,
Five minutes later the baby at the back said "I can smell treacle".
Once again they stoped and checked, but none of the others could smell it.
On they went,
Five minutes later (snip...)
As none of the others could smell it they continued, but father mole this time followed in last place behind the baby. Suddenly the baby stopped and said "I can smell treacle".
This time the father understood, and explained to his son that there was a difference between treacle and mole asses

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:30 PM

And Mr. Red, that dole idea seems to fit with the Patcham Dockyards (Patcham being a bit inland for anyone to find gainful employment there.)

I am trying to find our family copy of the Sussex dialect dictionary to follow up a suggestion that flint was called something treacly for a boring explanation.

And a safety point - black treacle becames a hazard on storage. The tin lid seals shut, and a gas given off by the treacle builds up, so that when the lid is prised off, it shoots up at a dangerous speed.(SASA, the Sussex space guys, were working on a launch technique making use of this effect, by mechanically removing a battery of lids facing downwards, but they came to a.....) Tate and Lyle recommend that if the tin has not been opened for some months, it be binned, and a new one bought, to avoid harm. So, you use a couple of tablespoons in the Christmas pudding, and then put it away. The next time you want it is a year later... I know the effect is true, because I tried it out on the lawn, wearing safety goggles. I now open the tin with a cloth round it. The treacle remains edible.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Burke
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:33 PM

I've never heard this use of cod either so I looked it up. In OED it gets noun definition 5 of 7 with only one related earlier use. It was in a 1952 theater dictionary so maybe there's a connection there:
    1. A slang appellation applied to persons, with various forces: see the quotations.

c1690 B. E. Dict. Cant. Crew, Cod, also a Fool.."An honest Cod, a trusty Friend." 1708 MOTTEUX Rabelais V. v. (1737) 18 O what an honest Cod was this same ∆dituus. 1851 C. D. BEVAN Let. in Beddoes' Poems & Lett. (Introd.) 130 [At the Charterhouse]..In those days the pensioners (or as we called them 'Cods') were not remarkable..for cleanliness. 1855 THACKERAY Newcomes II. 333 The old reverend black-gowns..the Cistercian lads called these old gentlemen CoddsI know not wherefore. 1873 Slang Dict., Cod, to hoax, to take a 'rise' out of one. Used as a noun, a fool. 1878 MACLEOD Hist. Dumbarton II. 46 Ye vile drunken cod.

    2. A joke; a hoax, leg-pull; a parody, a 'take-off'. (See also E.D.D. n.5) Also attrib. or quasi-adj., parodying, burlesque; 'mock'.

1905 Sketch LI. 472/2 Says he: 'Is that an absolute bargainno cod?' Says she: 'I don't know what the fish has to do with it, but I am perfectly sincere.' 1914 JOYCE Portr. Artist (1916) i. 45 Some fellows had drawn it there for a cod. 1952 GRANVILLE Dict. Theatr. Terms 46 'Cod version, a burlesque of a well-known play.' 1959 Church Times 16 Jan. 4/4 'The 'cod' Victorian decorations tend to disguise the editor's underlying seriousness.' 1959 Listener 29 Jan. 228/1 She obliged, initially in the delicious hiccup polka, a cod of Old Vienna. Ibid. 228/2 Joyce Grenfell too, doing her evergreen cod chorister. 1961 B. WELLS Day Earth caught Fire ii. 31 Pete picked up the empty tea mug and again used it as a cod mike. 'Alcoholics of the press, unite! 1962 Listener 5 July 36/1 The very idiosyncratic cod cockney of the scenes. 1970 Guardian 11 May 8/2 The cod version of 'Road to Mandalay'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:37 PM

And there was I thinking it had something to do with 'cod piece' a false and sometimes boastful decoration worn on the outside of a man's tights.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:38 PM

I was going to post this in the Gilead thread, but had second thoughts. I really hate to do this - but apparently, in the old Bishop's Bible, an early translation into English, the writers used an earlier English word for a healing material, and wrote " is there no treacle in Gilead". I didn't get this from a joke site, either.

And I'm glad I wasn't misusing English slang!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 12:45 PM

Penny & Burke: Thanks for the explanation of "cod" - I have been debating for sometime now whether to spend the $400 or so for a CD version of OED - its such a great resource.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 05:58 PM

Burke
Treacle is unrefined syrup, the burnt bits at the bottom of the tub. Molasses are the same burnt bits but more of the invert sugar (fructose & glucose mostly) taken out. Molasses are definitely not as sweet as treacle, which itself is less sickly than golden syrup (which is how my gran used to describe syrup).

I have treacle on my porridge every morning, it is definitely not a popular sweetener judging by peoples reaction (except in my house).

But the brand I get is definitely quarried not mined. Sort of syruppy equivalent of opencaster sugar.... I'll get my sugar coat....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Penny S.
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 05:00 PM

Sompting in Sussex, was, of course, known for its porridge quarry hard by the treacle mine.

I started being interested in this field when, at a local model railway exhibition, I saw a reconstruction of the mining machinery in an old cable reel. On the bottom layer of board, around the central column, ran an 000 gauge goods train with the sort of open trucks used in mineral transport. A structure of caves and tunnels had been built around it, and in the caverns the miners, small figures mounted on cams, worked away at the ore. The lower layer was linked to the top by a continuous bucket chain which fed the smelter at the top of the reel. It was intricate, finely made, and fascinating.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Burke
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 05:43 PM

Here's the citation for an article on Treacle Mines. Maybe you can track it down.

TITLE: Multi-Purpose Treacle Mines in Sussex and Surrey
AUTHOR: Simpson, Jacqueline
JOURNAL: Lore and Language (Lore&L). Sheffield England. 1982 Jan.; 3(6A): 61-73

That 'treacle in Gilead' is not really so strange. OED gives that as the original, but now obsolete use of the term:
A medicinal compound, orig. a kind of salve, composed of many ingredients, formerly in repute as an alexipharmic against and antidote to venomous bites, poisons generally, and malignant diseases.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,Keith A
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 03:00 AM

Gareth, I feel deeply humbled since your post has brought home to me the true human cost of the treacle on my spoon.
I bet that such a hard pressed community has produced at least one song, eh Gareth?
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 04:30 AM

How can you all ignore the other British resource...

North of Oldham, south of Diggle, there's a little town called Mumps,
Where the Tripe mines stand, just by the wash-house wall.......

From the gobsmacking pen of Mike Harding.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 04:42 AM

Hrothgar correctly pointed out the Irish origins of treacle earlier. All the English examples quoted are attempts to claim the mines for the English crown. It is well-documented that the earliest treacle mines were in Taicht an Lyaghdheal, Co Donegal.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM

Not forgetting the "Glorious Peoples Republic of Treacle Mine Road" which stood for "Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love*, and a hard boiled egg" as described in Terry Pratchett's Historic Discworld novel "Night Watch"

Nigel
*"Reasonably Priced Love" (Treacle Mine Road does run up to "Madams Gardens" !) so "Free Love" would be a no-no


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
From: GUEST,The Admiral
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 10:44 AM

There is indeed a Treacle Mining Song from Cookham Dean which my predecessor and mentor Dave Houlden used to sing. I'll see if I can find it and post it later.


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