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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Historic document from 2000

Ah -- this brings back happy memories! A Western Mail press cutting from April 2000, in the early stages of the Millennium Stone Pull.

This reminds us that when the pullers started with the project, all wore yellow gloves and PULLED on the ropes.  But many found that very hard work, getting rope burns and blisters on their hands -- and so after a while the organisers developed a sort of harness for each puller, with a bar in front of the chest and a connection behind onto the main haulage rope.  So those who were drawing the stone along were facing forward and PUSHING --  and were able to use their body weight much more effectively.  The men with the levers who walked along behind the stone were there to lever the loaded sledge back into position when it slid sideways -- as it did with alarming frequency.

In spite of these innovations, and the use of modern ropes and friction-reducing Netlon to increase sliding efficiency on asphalt roads, the stone pull was still an unmitigated disaster, proving without a doubt to all of those involved that the hypothetical human haulage of 80 bluestones from Presell to Stonehenge was just about as reliable as the "aliens from outer space" hypothesis.


TonyH said...

Ah, but you're reckoning without the massive horsepower of the aurochs (what's more, they say they STILL exist, in remote North and Mid Wales valleys, especially on nights with full moons).

That would explain why they've found so many aurochsen skeletons fairly close to Stonehenge and just off the A303 at Blick Mead, surely to goodness......

BRIAN JOHN said...

Much more likely, I think, that the afanc was harnessed and forced to do the hauling. There were very few of them in Pembs. It was too much for them, and after hauling 82 stones (no more, and no less) they just died out.......

TonyH said...

I'll send our thoughts immediately on to the Imagination Section, that essential department at Historic England/ English Heritage at Swindon, with of course a copy to go separately to the Stonehenge Handbook author, Julian Richards.

Alex Gee said...

A significant number of these Archeologists appear to share the same geological know how and powers of deduction as Creationists. Perhaps they secretly think that the stones were moved using tame dinosaurs; but are too shy to say?

Neil Wiseman said...

The last hybrid auroch is said to have died in Poland in the 17th century. Someone recently found some viable DNA and there's talk of cloning them.

There was likely 94 Blues at Stonehenge -- not 82.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Come along now, Neil....... where is the evidence for that speculation? Lots of holes in the ground?

TonyH said...

"Neil Sings the Blues"...... Tommy Steele eat yer heart out [look him up, Neil, I expect you've never heard of him across the Pond?].

Not sure whether the Creationists even admit to the possibility of dinosaurs. Tell you what, though, Neil, it's worth the entrance fee alone at Longleat (near you), to see the indoor exhibition of moving and noisy dinosaurs, courtesy of the Natural History Museum. We were well impressed today.

Neil Wiseman said...

Looks like I can neither type nor add! That number should have said 84 - not 94.
It's based on what I believe to have been 56 in the outer ring, with 28 in the Trilithon oval.
These are the 'Two Shipments' I'm always on about.

Further, for only one example, if they got all those sarsens up that hill for the West Kennet Long Barrow -- fully 600 years before Stonehenge -- I feel that moving some 'puny little' Bluestones would have been far simpler


Peter Dunn said...

Any raise on 94? Where are Tony’s popular musical comments when you need them. I suppose I will have to do it, Oh Boy.

4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Bluestones perhaps?

And leave off the large cattle, Never Mind The Aurochs. It’s Tommy Steele and His little white bull.

TonyH said...

Whoops! - what I meant was "Tell you what, ALEX......."

Neil, West Kennet long barrow is extremely close to all the sarsen stones on the Overton & Fyfield Downs. Prehistoric man also constructed the West Kennet Avenue quite close by.