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Ancient weights & measures.

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Bob Williams 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • #12044

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2

    Just finished reading “The Reivers” by Alastair Moffat, great book about the history of ‘Reivers’ or raiders and thieves from both sides of the English-Scottish border. Stole cattle, sheep and anything else from each other, but united against outside authority. If Scots or English armies were large enough to ‘pacify’ them, they played one side off against the other, sometimes started wars. They survived until shortly after the Union: wonder what will happen nowadays, if Scots get their independence? (Which my gt.nephew, born north of Aberdeen, says will never happen)

    Anyhoo: I noticed these old measures in one part of the book. Some were used by Scots and English, some were unique to Reivers on each side of the border. They were formed into clans, based around surnames and family relationships. Feuds were common and some of the feuds were carried over to North America when they emigrated.

    Sassenachs and Jocks have a long history of aggression to each other!

    1 Boll = 140 pounds.

    2 Bolls = 1 Sack

    1 Hand = 4 inches.

    1 Cubitt = 18 inches.

    1 Military Pace = 2 Ft 6″

    1 Rod, Pole or Perch = 5 Ft.

    1 Truss of straw = 36 pounds

    1 Truss of old hay = 56 pounds.

    1 Bushel = 8 gallons.

    Headaches must have been common in those days!

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

Viewing 18 replies - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
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  • #12045

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,686

    You’ve translated 1 ancient measurement into another ?

    My kids would have a much idea of the imperial as we do of the border measurements.

    #12053

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 4,636

    50% of those were part of my primary school education. viz Rods,Bushels,Hands,Cubits. There was a smidgen of rationale in their inclusion as bushels and poles were still a fairly common agricultural measure, as were Hands for measuring horses while of course cubits are an integral part of the Old Testament e.g. Noah’s Ark etc. For some reason we also were taught about the military pace (I vaguely remember it being used in Arithmetic lessons together with marching cadences along miles of military roads in order to schedule imaginary troop movements against the rebellious Scots!) — Brainwashing obviously started early where I lived.

    Dates me as an old phart, but moving between units all the time was an invaluable bit of background for engineering, and learning how to do rough approximations to check answers.

    #12056

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    Moving between Imperial and metric, IMO, makes the brain flexible. I can still work out miles to km, inches, feet and yards to cm and metres, gallons to litres. Had to be able to do that in Germany.

    Then I ask myself, why, nowadays? Time to metricate the UK altogether, I think.

    But I don’t want to drive on the right! When I came back home on leave after a long spell driving LHD vehicles in Germany, my SIL asked me to take her to Mansfield one day. I drove out of their estate and straight into oncoming traffic, on the wrong side of the road. SIL had 7 children, but I don’t think she ever screamed like that before. ? Being me, I calmly avoided the traffic, settled for the correct lane and asked her why she was making so much noise. Every time since then, if I have driven her, she has asked if I am going to try to kill her again. I don’t think she trusts me, ?but my brother hasn’t driven for years and had a stroke recently.

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #12057

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 2,048

    I did the same – but opposite – thing. Back in the 70’s we were over in Spain, having driven down through France, between Alicante and Benidorm. There was a Go-Kart track we just had to have a go on, being mid 20’s at the time. We had a great time – spent about 2 hours there. When we came out, we were so busy talking about it, I just turned left out of the entrance – with about the same reaction from my mates as your SiL.

    That feeling always stood me in good stead for any foreign driving later on in life.

    #12058

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,926

    Lol, a few time while on the continent I’ve gone around Roundabouts the wrong way. It’s usually when I’m lost and flustered on a road with no other cars, my material instinct just takes over.

    Remember my old man doing it also in the 80s, and meeting and in coming car flashing at us mad brits.

    #12059

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 2,904

    A friend of my mothers fella spent 4 months in the Florida area of the USA visiting his son.

    He got back home and amassed 9 points in 2 hours. All on the drive home from the airport and for being on the wrong side of the road .He’d had enough so hobbled the car and got the AA out to tow them home.

    He had 3 points already so when it was all processed he had a years ban and a large fine.

    My Instagram

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    #12061

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 4,636

    It is normally easier when you are driving the ‘correct’ car layout for the driving regime  you are in, but even then you can get caught out by the idiosyncrasies and different traffic laws of each country. I hate to think of the number of times that the US habit of fast exit on the left in multi-lane carriages has resulted in my having to make a twenty mile diversion. Others like the Aussie ‘hook’ turn or Kiwi give-way rules still give me nightmares when I think about the numbers of near misses they caused!

    Friends tell me that it has now become quite dangerous driving in New Zealand as a result of the numbers of Chinese tourists driving hired cars.

    #12062

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 2,048

    I’ve been caught out the same way with being in the “slow” lane and being forced into taking the turn. In the States especially where the “Off Ramp” isn’t part of a roundabout or junction.

    I don’t know if it’s still the same – just checked and IT IS – the Give Way to the Right ( Priorite a Droit ) – has caught me out a few times in France. That whole scenario is complicated by the confusion as to whether it still exists/do people still recognise the need to obey/can they be bothered!!

     

    The other problem you get as a Brit driving a LHD vehicle is at gear-change time – when habit/instinct takes over. The number of occasions my left hand has reached out for the gear lever and found the door handle!!

    #12063

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    I might have had the best adjustment/adaptation process between UK & European driving. Learned and passed in the Army in the UK, after driving in the Middle East and Far East (driving various LH and RH vehicles) , posted to BAOR for a total of 8 years with tours of NI and UK courses. In Germany and other European countries, I had a mix of LH and RH drive personal cars, driving on the right of course (well 95% of the time ?)

    Apart from the occasional hiccup, driving in UK and on the continent, became a seamless process, regardless of the country or the vehicle. I became adroit at changing gear with either hand: I just took a few seconds after getting (usually) into the driver’s seat, to mentally adjust. After leaving germany, didn’t drive on the ‘wrong’ side again until I went to Canada and hired a car. Found myself changing gear the other way and thinking in Km’s, as soon as I drove the hired car first time. A bit like riding a bike.

    Now a funny, but true story: some years ago, a mate who has the cogitative process of a drunken Rhino, wanted to buy a trailer to tow a small car and/or 2 motorbikes. He was gobsmacked by the prices of UK trailers at the size he wanted, so I told him that I had heard that it may be cheaper in Germany or France, even allowing for cost of fuel. He thought about that, then stunned myself and another mate with this:

    “But won’t trailers there be Left Hand Drive?”

    Absolutely true, we were almost hysterical with laughter, it was also the way he said it, perfectly serious.

     

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #12064

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 4,636

    Although we have segued into the difficulties of driving elsewhere there is also the problem that each country has its own oddities in car design (not too much between cars in the EU). My most embarrassing moments seemed to have revolved around picking up a hired car then being unable to figure out some simple thing that is completely intuitive to the natives of the land. In the US I just could not figure out how to release the hand-brake (compounded by it being called the emergency brake) – it was set/released by a floor-mounted button, but probably the worst was having to leave all our luggage in a Brisbane monsoon because I could not find out how to release the boot (a lever by the driving position). Although you could vent steam with a good rant in the UK, it becomes much harder when you know it will pay to smile and just act the dumb foreigner again, and harder still if you have resisted and wasted twenty minutes trying to figure it out all by yourself with SWMBO suggesting that you go and ask!

    #12080

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    Oh wow, Ed, do I know that feeling! –

    …harder still if you have resisted and wasted twenty minutes trying to figure it out all by yourself with SWMBO suggesting that you go and ask!  ”

    Difference in our case being that my OH is so knowledgeable about a solution to a problem after it has happened! ???

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #12110

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,926

    The boot opener is built in the the Vx badge on the tail gate of mine. If you don’t know it you won’t figure it out.

    When anyone new tries to open the boot, I have to use the fob from withing the car. Especially for women, and I don’t want there ring laden hands fumbling around my paintwork.

    In my days of hire cars, the petrol cap opener was always the one I couldn’t find. Well after figuring out what side the cap is lol.

    #12112

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    Fuel filler cap – yes, I have had the Tucson since April and I still sometimes drive up to the wrong side of the pump. ?? The C-Max was on the offside or driver side, Tucson is on the nearside. I also sometimes ‘plip’ open the doors and put the keys in my pocket, then look for a Start button that isn’t there! The Tucson key folds out of the handle which contains the “plipper”.

    At least all the controls are on the same side and the main beam works the same way, by flicking the stalk away from the driver.

    ? Steve, who are all these ring-laden women fumbling around your paintwork? ?

    On second thoughts, maybe we don’t need to know…. ??

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #12118

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,926

    Just look at any driver door handle surroundings that is driven by a woman. I don’t know how they do it, or how they have such little respect for their expensive belongings.

    #12126

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    I took a look at daughter’s little Mazda, she was here just now, it often carries 3 or 4 female teachers.

    I see what you mean! All 4 door handles and the boot handle, scratched. Daughter: “It’s just a car, dad!”

    Sums it up, doesn’t it? ?? Told her she needs to wear gloves before getting in and out of mine. Just laughed.

    An old mate back in Notts on FB, having just spent a fortune on his wife’s outfit for his daughter’s (2nd.) wedding: “Good job we love ’em, isn’t it?”

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #12133

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,926

    I just took a look at my SiL car and took a pic for you. I’m gonna start calling her Steve wonder.

    #12141

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 4,636

    Just to go back to the ‘Ancient’ part of the OP. I came across this today. Absolutely amazing!

    #12144

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 3,965

    That is a great spot, Ed. I will be keeping an eye on that.

    I have recently taken out a subscription to “Current Archaeology” Magazine, check it out here:

    http://tinyurl.com/y7of7tq3

    Some great history in there, although my own preference is Prehistory, I find that my interest in all history is becoming deeper as I age. Probably says a lot about my advancing years!

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

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