Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Trugs

A few weeks back I was looking at Teresa's blog from the USA with her photo of a beautiful Myrtle wood trug and some of her friendly comment-ers said they had never heard of the word Trug.
This sent me on a mission to find out why this word isn't know by everyone as it's still used in this country...................

trug

(also trug basket)


noun

British
  • A shallow oblong basket made of strips of wood, traditionally used for carrying garden flowers and produce.

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a basin): perhaps a dialect variant of trough.

So that's where the word comes from .................

Then I remembered something I'd written on the old blog and after a bit of searching I found it.............

There is another item here which is used for carrying things, my lovely trug, handmade by Col several years ago.

I had found the measurements and instructions in a craft book and persuaded him to make a few to sell on our stand at a Suffolk Smallholders Annual Show in about 2007. He doesn't mind making things but these were much more complicated than his usual bodged gates etc and he got crosser and crosser with each one. I painted them, distressed and waxed all 6 and thought they looked really good. But when we came to work out the cost for selling we had to price them at £15 each and we didn't sell a single one. Col was NOT pleased. We gave some away as Christmas presents and I kept two here which I still have and I still love them even if no one else did!

I'm glad I still have two trugs

  because a few months ago, down in Surrey, someone set fire to Eldest Daughters shed (and despite neighbours having CCTV footage of a man carrying a cigarette lighter and a bottle of whisky trying to get into the neighbours house and despite people seeing the same man sitting very drunk in the road outside, the police wouldn't question him! even though everyone knew who he was) one of the things lost by the fire was her trug that her Dad made. The fire service said it was definitely arson and the insurance paid out but she wouldn't have been able to replace the trug  if I hadn't kept two and can pass one to her...........as soon as they get the shed rebuilt.(Thankfully Jacob slept through the whole thing, fire engines and noise).

If you want to read the whole post, titled Baskets, Buckets and Trugs, from March 2015, it's HERE
(I still have all the baskets in the photos).(and part of that post comes from something written even earlier for the Suffolk Smallholders Society)

And if you want to read about the history of Trug making in this country - mainly in Sussex (for readers from overseas that's a county on the South coast of England) I found this HERE



Back Tomorrow
Sue


38 comments:

  1. What a lovely post. I'm pleased you (and your daughter) each have one of Col's trugs. I have just followed the link and read the very long piece about Sussex Trugs. I have a very flimsy trug (it was a "Christmas hamper" years ago) which sits on the hearth full of pine cones. But now I'm lusting after a Genuine Royal Sussex, English made PROPER trug!

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  2. It is so lovely that you can replace your daughter's trug and still have one for yourself. They are beautiful and will last a lifetime (barring arsonists). I have a trug I made myself with cane weaving which I always use when I am picking the runner beans! I'm sure it makes them taste better!
    People missed buying a real heirloom, seeing the price rather than thequality, I guess. Their loss.
    xx

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    1. I always used my trug for runner beans at the smallholding when I was picking to sell. Not quite so many to pick now

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  3. I have always wanted a trug - just because. Don't have a practical use for one, but I like cane/wooden baskets anyway and have a few baskets with one of a similar size and shape as a trug. I am always on the lookout for a proper one, but as yet have never seen one.

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    1. I'm always tempted by baskets at car boot sales but keep my hands in my pockets!

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  4. Thank you for your research, and such a lovely post. Two things I covet, a Sussex trug and a Longaberger basket.

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  5. Oh I love your trug(s) and how nice you have them to hold onto after your Col. Such a shame your daughter's was lost in the fire but mum will be able to come to the rescue. I love baskets too and have several around the house much to D's dismay he just see's them as yet another place that I can stash wool and other craft items in.

    Mitzi

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  6. You are nothing if not thorough in your search for information Sue. As to those lovely trugs that Col made - that is the trouble with beautifully crafted hand made items - no-one wants to pay the price they have cost to make. I would definitely have bought one if I had been there -

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    1. I like looking things up - on line now if it isn't in my books

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  7. Such a dreadful thing to happen to happen to your Eldest’s shed and it’s the irreplaceable things that hit us most. So glad that, due to your thoughtfulness, she will once more have something made by her dad. I love the word trug.....it always brings to mind English gardens, sunny afternoons, cut flowers, etc.....

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    1. Son in law lost tools and Jacob lost toys - really horrible thing to happen.

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  8. How terrible that happened to your daughters shed and relief that the house was safe. Bless you for letting her have one of your trugs that Col made, something that can never be replaced. I think £15 is a bargain price but I am betting you are glad they didn't sell.

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    1. Luckily the shed was at the end of the garden and the Fire Service arrived very quickly

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  9. It was meant to be. ‘Made with love’ probably not... at the time, although now given with love and Colin I am sure would be so pleased. A happy ending to a sad story. Police, if they won’t do anything about arson what hope?

    LX

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    1. The police said they had no evidence on who had done it so couldn't question anyone!
      I can remember very well how much Col moaned about making them, I didn't hear the end of it for ages!

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  10. My mother always had a traditional Sussex trug and her with it in the garden will always be an abiding image. I don’t know who got it after she died last year (bearing in mind there are 10 of us siblings). I did get the blue China chamber pot though which makes a rather nice plant holder.

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  11. I like Col's trug and would have bought one! Glad you have a replacement for your daughter.

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    1. I'm glad I didn't take one to sell at a boot sale

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  12. That must have been very distressing for your daughter. I am sure she will treasure the replacement trug.

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    1. It was a horrible time for them and I was pleased to tell her I had a trug to give her

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  13. The trugs are beautiful. I would gladly pay L15 for one! I have two ''antique'' trugs, what we call berry flats here [a trug here is oval] in the US east coast. My flats are sized to hold square pint berry boxes and the fruit was picked and sold. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sussex-Trug-No-6/dp/B00P50Y0JM

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    1. I could have done with a berry flat years ago when I was picking fruit to sell!

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  14. They are quite a thing here in Sussex. Trugs are useful things when gardening! Glad you could give your daughter another one after hers was destroyed.
    Arilx

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    1. Seem to be lots for sale on the internet all sorts of prices and many Sussex companies

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  15. I'll admit when I read your post a few weeks ago mentioning trugs I had to look up it up on Google. I had never heard them called that here. I love the ones Col made and how wonderful that you still had a spare to replace the one your daughter lost.

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    1. Seems like an old English word, I expect there are many people in this country who wouldn't know what they were either

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  16. I'm Sussex born and bred, and grew up in the countryside, so of course know all about Sussex trugs. We had them in different sizes, but always the same shape, and handmade from overlapping strips of wood.
    I did have a small one sitting on my hearth with knitting in it, but gave it away when I was moving house four years ago, which I now regret!

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    1. I'm very glad I didn't take one to sell at the car boot sale last year, I did think about it because I couldn't see that I needed to keep two but glad I did.
      Goodness is it four years!

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  17. What a lovely trug Colin made you. I am also glad you had one to give to your daughter after she lost hers.

    God bless.

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  18. How interesting! I was one of those who had never heard of the word 'trug.'
    They look like they would be heavy to carry around the garden, but looks must be deceiving as that is their purpose!

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  19. That was really interesting to read, although sad to hear the story of the fire and the circumstances. The trugs Col made are lovely - I can just picture them full of beautiful freshly cut flowers or vegetables.

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  20. I'm so pleased you have a spare trug to give to your daughter. To have something that your Dad made is so comforting.

    I never understand the lack of prosecution when all the detective work is there done, and provable. I bet he would only have got a rap on the knuckles, a hundred pound fine and told to behave himself. I guess once he sets fire to a house and kills someone the Police will finally have to do something 😠

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