A round form attached to an axle that eases the movement or carriage of a load
This is an image of a spokeshave which can be found at the Museum of East Anglian Life, please see the stories so far below for more information.
It's hard to imagine a time when there weren't wheels, but it must have been the case. They don't grow as a natural form in nature, so there will have been a period before they were invented, discovered, made (just like butter, bread or cheese). Without them all sorts of vehicles and machinery wouldn't function and that in turn would have an impact on pretty much everything. So we should respect the wheel, as it transports us - and our stuff - around. Or turns machinery to make all those bits and bobs we cherish and love. A lovely ritual I always associate with the wheel is a moment in a Hindu wedding ceremony I witnessed as a child when a coconut was placed under a car and driven over. This was to bless the car in which the happy couple were to be driven away in. I still remember the fascination and confusion I felt the first time I witnessed this ceremony. It seemed so destructive, yet practical and full of reams of folklore, tradition and hope. I can play that experience over and over in my minds eye still. I remember it being noisy and full of shouting and clapping and cheering and the coconut making a huge cracking noise as it split. I also worried for the wheel of that car as it slowly inched forward. But really I needn't have. It won!

Stories posted so far...

Posted by The Museum of East Anglian Life
This object is a spokeshave. As its name suggests, it is a tool for shaping the spokes of a wagon wheel. Its owner, Mr Snell, was an apprentice to John Wright, wheelwright, from 1918 to 1924 at The Forge, Yoxford. In 1924 he left to work as a wheelwright at the well-known local wagon makers of Page and Girling at Melton.

Making a wheel could be a lengthy process, and the wide range of skills demanded by the work required an artisan of the highest order. The purpose of shaving the spokes was to reduce their weight, yet it was important that in doing this their strength was not compromised. This delicate balance between creating a sturdy, yet streamlined wheel, was key to the wheelwright’s craft.
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