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Old 2nd August 2009, 12:34 PM   #1
Atlantia
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Default Old Lead headed 'billy' club?

Heres a weird little thing. Approx 39cm long shaft is some kind of slightly springy wood, like a thick reed or bamboo, but solid throughout. Anyhow, its got a lead head. Overall weight about 300g, quite a solid thing. I know nothing about it so any help appreciated,litterally any ideas!
Don't know what I'm going to do with it as clubs don't really float my boat. Bear that in mind if you want to help me identify it.
Thanks
Gene


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Old 2nd August 2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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Hi

I think this is an instrument that was used in plumbing work (during the time when water pipes were made from lead).

Regards
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Old 2nd August 2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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Default Not a billy club but a (rare) weapon indeed

This is a throwing stick supposedly made for hunting small game like rabbits, squirrels etc.
Late 19th to early 20th century England & Ireland.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 05:01 PM   #4
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my guess, a trench mace/club

shaft looks like rattan, zillions of similar ones were made for trench warfare in ww1, wooden haft with a simple poured lead head, sometimes all covered in leather, with a wrapped grip and lanyard. much handier, and also cheaper than a sword or bayonetted rifle. some had spikes.

Trench raiding clubs were homemade mle weapons used by both the Allies and the Central Powers during World War I. Clubs were used during night-time trench raiding expeditions as a quiet and effective way of killing or wounding enemy soldiers. The clubs were usually made out of wood. It was common practice to fix a metal object at the striking end (eg. an empty mills bomb) in order to maximize the injury inflicted. Another common design comprised a simple stave with the end drilled out and a lead weight inserted, with rows of large hobnails hammered in around its circumference. Most designs had some form of cord or leather strap at the end to wrap around the user's wrist.

Trench clubs were manufactured in bulk by units based behind the lines. Typically, regimental carpenters and metal workers would make large numbers of the same design of club.

They were generally used along with other "quiet" weapons such as trench knives, hatchets and pick-axe handles - backed up with revolvers and grenades.

a somewhat nastier version with a cast iron head

Last edited by kronckew; 2nd August 2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys! Three different suggestions though!!
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Old 2nd August 2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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Hi Gene,
my first reaction was a 'priest'.....to quickly despatch large fish / game, although a little too long. Where is the point of balance ? A throwing 'stick' would have the POB very near to the heavy end. A club slightly further down. I could quite easily see a poacher with this descretely hidden up his sleeve ready to throw at the 'occasional' stray rabbit / pheasant. Doubles up as a club....in case he's caught by the 'game keeper'

Regards David
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Old 2nd August 2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Gene,
my first reaction was a 'priest'.....to quickly despatch large fish / game, although a little too long. Where is the point of balance ? A throwing 'stick' would have the POB very near to the heavy end. A club slightly further down. I could quite easily see a poacher with this descretely hidden up his sleeve ready to throw at the 'occasional' stray rabbit / pheasant. Doubles up as a club....in case he's caught by the 'game keeper'

Regards David
Hi you lucky dog!

POB is about an inch from the lead head.

Sooo, where is this bootsale exactly?

Best Regards
Gene
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Old 2nd August 2009, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Hi you lucky dog!

POB is about an inch from the lead head.

Sooo, where is this bootsale exactly?

Best Regards
Gene
Hi Gene,
The local 'boot fair' is usually a 'non event' ......this is incredibly rare ....well actually the first time a pointy, sharp thing has cropped up. Oh occassionally a 'stainless Chinese Katana' may 'appear' ....but they don't count......do they ?

With the weight so far up, I think a throwing stick is definately on the cards.

Regards David
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Old 2nd August 2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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Default Another one

Mine was catlogued as a trench club ,forget rabbits and lead working tool . I did see something very similar on the telly but with a longer shaft that was used for firing a line on to ships .
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Old 2nd August 2009, 10:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graeme gt
Mine was catlogued as a trench club ,forget rabbits and lead working tool . I did see something very similar on the telly but with a longer shaft that was used for firing a line on to ships .
Hi Graeme.

well, bloody hell, thats a close match!
Are you also in the Uk?

Regards
Gene
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Old 2nd August 2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Its more or less the same i am not totally convinced that they are trench clubs ,i bide in Jockland cheers graeme .
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Old 3rd August 2009, 06:14 AM   #12
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just to spice up the mix, along the lines of the throwing stick:

the late roman plumbata

also known as lawn darts in 1960's america.

how to make a plumbata
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Old 3rd August 2009, 09:16 AM   #13
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Here are some extracts from plumbing textbooks - its called a "plumber's dummy"

Regards
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Old 3rd August 2009, 10:03 AM   #14
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yup, them ww1 regimental armourers were mostly ex-plumbers
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Old 3rd August 2009, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Here are some extracts from plumbing textbooks - its called a "plumber's dummy"

Regards

ROTF!!!
Oh my good god! Ummm, errrr....... Ooops.
Graeme? You know that WW1 trench club?

Well thats it, a new low for me, I'm really 'plumbing the depths' of misidentified items now!


P.S. Thanks Colin.
Regards
Gene

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Old 3rd August 2009, 09:09 PM   #16
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Looks like Colin hit the nail on the head going to see retired plumber tomorrow ,he knew exactly what i was talking about over the phone .Will delay slice of humble pie till i see him .
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Old 4th August 2009, 09:55 PM   #17
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Been and had a chat with George (retired plumber)he used something similar as an apprentice at trade school 55 years ago,they were out of date then .So i will go and put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea with my slice of humble pie .ps he wasnt 100% sure but i will give you it Colin . cheers Graeme .
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Old 4th August 2009, 10:10 PM   #18
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Obviously there arent really words of comfort when you realise that a 'weapon' has turned out to be something early 20th century plumbers used to get kinks out of lead pipes, but we can both take some comfort in the fact that misery loves company and we were both fooled!
Oh and then we can remember the 'rounders bat' a little while back and realise clubs are sometimes 'tricky'
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Old 5th August 2009, 12:38 AM   #19
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So... Anyone besides me wonder what the patina is?
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Old 5th August 2009, 07:45 AM   #20
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Hi Gene

Maybe some comfort - I made the same mistake several years ago...thought it was an angler's old salmon "priest"....

Regards, Colin
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Old 5th August 2009, 12:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Hi Gene

Maybe some comfort - I made the same mistake several years ago...thought it was an angler's old salmon "priest"....

Regards, Colin

LOL, thanks mate
Thats the beauty of these boards! We all get to learn from each others 'hits' and 'misses'.
I'd rather know, at least I won't buy any more
And on the upside, if I do want to beat myself up about it........ I've now got the perfect thing!

Kind Regards
Gene
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