March 2014

In March we were superbly entertained with Colin Mount’s ‘Pig in the Post’ display, Having been in the pig business for 44 years, Colin’s knowledge was extensive, comprehensive and great fun with a few anecdotes and stories of place names and sayings like - ‘Pig in the poke’ - ‘Pigs can fly’ - ‘Piggy bank,’ etc.

The history of the pig goes back to prehistoric times, but it was the Chinese 5000 year ago, who first domesticated pigs, and the first to taste roast pork! The story goes that after one of the farmer’s sons accidentally burnt down a building with a pig inside, the son prodded the pig after the fire. It was so hot that he put his fingers in his mouth to cool them down, and discovered his fingers to be so tasty he prodded the pig again and again to get more of the wonderful taste, hence we have roast pork!

We heard why Cumberland sausages were bigger than any other sausages. This was because the hooks that they used to hang their sausages on by the fire were pulled down by the pet dog!!

Colin mentioned that the pig’s heart, colon, valves, have the same dimensions as humans, hence the early transplants from a pig to a human.

We learnt why they put rings in pig’s noses. What sort of cuts there are of a pig. How they hunt for truffles. Different breeds of pigs. Colin told us about wartime propaganda using a picture of a pig. Colin demonstrated this by folding an A4 piece of paper with the picture of four pigs on it, with the end result, a picture of Hitler. We learnt how Bath, supposedly got its name. How Hampshire Hog came by its name. How some people back in the 19th century used the pig as an anti-royalist campaign. We also learnt about swine fever. He produced Postcards, Birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentine cards with pigs as the central topic.

All the above and more topics of the pig were produced on covers, stamps, drawings, cards, pictures, posters, in fact anything that was connected with pigs. He also brought along tusks from a boar, and a pig iron – he knew it was a pig iron because it was made in the USA by Bacon Press!!!