|Television and the local paper gave us an
insight into the work of a tanner. This is the job that Joseph Ackroyd c1742
- 1811 did for a living. It was also the occupation of Patrick Nolan c1827 -
One of the worst jobs in history.
Working in a tannery does not sound pleasant at all. Tony
Robinson tried out the job at a tannery and his opinion is that it is
totally disgusting. It is a place where there is a series of festering pools
of chicken and dog droppings. Into this you drop the heavy unwieldy hide of
a cow. It stays there for 12 months, and a few thunder storms are wished for
as this gets the procedure moving. At the end of this period you drag the
huge sodden thing and then have to hack the hair off one side. You then turn
it over and try to hack the rotting fat off the other side. How did they
cope with these awful jobs?