Work and Labour

Image: Bark peeling in Ribbesford Wood, Wyre Forest (early 20th century) [Image from: Bewdley Museum]

2. Work and Labour

The supply of oak for the tanning industry was managed by coppicing. Evidence of this can be seen in the background of the photograph. The harvesting of bark was one aspect of a wider system of resource management for the production of wood for furniture, poles, fencing and charcoal burning. Peeling was a seasonal activity conducted in the spring when young leaves were emerging and the sap was rising. Both men and women were engaged by workmen who wanted to use the wood for other purposes such as furniture making. In the Wyre Forest the harvesting season ran from 24 April to 14 June, immediately after Bewdley’s main cattle and horse fair.

Image courtesy of: Wyre Forest District Council
Donor ref: 18 C5

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749-2Bark Peeling 221-0Bark Peeling and Leather Tanning 215-0Work and Labour 223-0Bark Peeling Tools 220-0Bark Peeling 222-0Bark Peeling 217-0Seasoning the Bark 216-0Transporting the Bark