Friday, 15 April 2011
Long, long, long ago......... In fact so long ago, I still had hair! I’m not sure how young I was, but I was still a kid, living at home and being brought up in an era when we had to make our own entertainment, as ‘day-time-TV’ had still to be discovered and released to roam freely amongst the British population, to pick them off one by one.
So way, way back, at home we had a collection of thin, soft-back books that had at sometime been collected by subscription (I would imagine) and they came together and formed a complete set of encyclopedia, which were then kept at the bottom of the bookshelves in the lounge. I enjoyed taking these out, one at a time for fear of getting them out of order, and randomly learning some new snippet of information about the outside world. To a boy of my age, with my thirst for information, they were also a wonderful source of knowledge, statistics and facts, useful for completing those random school projects that seemed to land on our desks far too regularly for my liking. It was within the pages of those books that I learnt about the seahorse, Archimedes Screw and the ‘keystone’ in bridges and other arches.
Much of that knowledge has stuck with me and has proved useful over the years. Some has faded with time or has been pushed out of my head by newer and more current information, often still sourced via books or, more likely, the wonderful “world-wide-interweb” on my laptop. But there is one piece of information that has eluded me for sometime now and I have been struggling to find the answer. Those encyclopedia only contained line-drawings, no photographs as far as I can remember, and on one page were drawings of the wall braces used to prevent the walls of older buildings from buckling or bowing outwards. You see them everywhere you go, even now, and they do (or did in those books anyway) have a special name; if I could remember which volume they were in, that might help, but I cannot..........so they are somewhere in the A-Z zone, that's all I can say for sure! I have taken a few pictures and placed them in today's blog, so if anyone out there knows what they are called, please, please, please do tell me - it's been bugging me for years!