The Geordie Crackett
|June 30, 2005||Posted by Secretary under Craft Club||
The “crackett” is thought to have originated in the coalmines of this region (North East England). It was made by miners for use as a headrest when on their backs hewing coal in the very low coal seams. From the mines they progressed into colliery houses, every house having its own crackett. The name is thought to have been derived from folks sitting around on their stools having a bit of “crack”.
Whatever their origins, they have proved to be practical pieces of furniture, i.e. for standing on when reaching for the tea caddy from the mantelshelf, and for polishing your boots on. An Ashington lady uses her stool as a stand for her aspidistra plant, which answers to the name of “Geordie”. One Silksworth miner says the crackett was one of the family pets, while another used to turn his upside down and push the bairns around in it. A crackett is especially useful when greasing chickens’ legs.
Cracketts disappeared from general use in the late 1940s, although there are still some to be found which are 90-100 years old. The hole in the centre was primarily to pick up the crackett with one finger, although some had a series of holes enabling the whole hand to be inserted.