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What is a Sussex Trug?
'The word 'trug' is derived from the anglo saxon 'trog', meaning 'boat shaped vessel'
early in the 19th century, people hollowed out pieces of timber to make boat shapes and fixed handles to them. They then used the shape or 'trug' to measure and carry grain out to the fields. The size of each trug was very roughly equivalent to old imperial measures, e.g. bushel, half bushel, pint etc. Because they were made from a single piece of timber they could also measure liquids.
As you can imagine they were very heavy! It was later in the 19th century that the trug as we know it today came about when the solid block of timber was replaced by thin strips of cricket bat willow and nailed to a frame of sweet chestnut, which was commonly grown in the area. The trug became famous after a Mr Smith showed them at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and Queen Victoria ordered a consignment for members of the Royal Family. Herstmonceux, in East Sussex, became world famous for trugs and it is said that it is there that they were first used.
In the middle of the 20th century a new type of trug was developed which used willow from the cricket bat industry located nearby and sweet chestnut for the handles. The trugs are made using brass screws and copper and steel tacks. A Trug is traditionally used by gardeners to carry fruit and vegetables in from the garden much as they were those many years ago. Latterly, the smaller ones have come to be used as fruit bowls, bread baskets or to hold pot pourri or hampers!.
Small no 1 Trug
Approx measurements 10 x 5 in' enough to hold 3 products
Medium no 4 Trug
Approx. measurements 15 x 8 in' enough to hold
Large no 5 Trug
Approx. measurements 17 x 9 in' enough to hold 7 products.
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