November 1, 2008

Northumbrian milking machine tales: Aye man, it's gannin' all the way to fifteen!

Byres, hemmels, shippons and mistles - milking machine tales
by Jack Dent (2005)

I installed a milking machine near my home for a very nice old chap and he was pleased at first, but then complained that it didn’t milk as well as his neighbour’s new machine. The neighbour’s was an Alfa-Laval and I found out that this neighbour was telling him that his machine worked better because his clock read 15, and the Simplex only 13.

The fact was that the different vacuum readings were due to the different pulsator requirements, but I thought I wouldn’t get very far trying to explain this to the old man. So I took a screwdriver to the back of the clock when the old lad wasn’t around and made it read two inches of mercury higher.
Photo: advertisement from the late 1930s for Alfa Laval equipment.

He was delighted and I was especially pleased when his neighbour told him that he thought the Simplex was a bit better milking machine.

One day I was fitting a small machine in a Dales byre and while fitting the vacuum line overhead, the farmer’s son came in and asked me if there would be any vibration in the pipe.

Picture: Widely used bucket type of milking plant, operating from a fixed overhead vacuum line. From Kenneth Russell (1969) The Principles of Dairy Farming.

His father was with him and then later on that afternoon, the old man came back into the byre. I was standing on the milking cracket fixing a tap and the old man walloped me across the backside and said “Thooed better leave a hole in yan end”. I asked him what for, and his reply was “te let viberashum oot”.

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