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A GAGGLE OF GANDERS

 
   
 

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1.4 THE WESSON FAMILY OF DORKING

mong other hoop benders at the time were the three brothers, Richard, John, and William Wesson. At least two of these, Richard and William, were possibly William Gander's colleagues in Wandsworth. Richard Wesson (born 1785) was there in 1808 before moving to Sugar Loaf Court, Queenhithe, off Upper Thames Street. William Wesson (born 1790) was there before about 1825, when he moved to Upper Thames Street. The other brother, John (born 1789), was working at 44 Queen Street, with or near his brother Richard from about 1814. Between 1817 and 1821 he was nearby at 192 Upper Thames Street, then later moved just round the corner to 13 Garlick Hill.

Richard, John, and William Wesson were the sons of Richard and Sarah Wesson and all born in Dorking, Surrey. William Wesson was to be closely associated with the Gander family for about 50 years.

   
 
 

(Continued)

are strong wooden hoops, holding the staves firmly together until the iron hoops can be affixed. Before affixing the iron hoops, however, a fire made of chips and shavings lighted in a cresset, or small iron grate, is placed within the staves, so as to make them tough by warming the sap, and thus get them to bend without cracking. To this 'firing' the closest attention must be given, for if it be prolonged beyond the exact time, the staves are rendered brittle instead of tough. As soon as the cask is sufficiently fired an 'over runner' is put round the staves; this overrunner is a very strong wooden hoop, and is driven down by the cooper's 'trussing adze' the upper part of the cask.being first bent close together. The lower ends of the staves distend through the action of the heat, but the overrunner is driven gradually down to the 'bouge'; to effect this in large and strong work the cooper calls out, 'Truss, oh!' and immediately two or three of his fellows come to his aid, and drive the overrunner down so as to compress the staves sufficiently and reduce the distention. The cask is then prepared with tools called 'chimes', used for 'sloping' the ends of the staves, and grooves are made for fitting in the heads; this being done, the hoops are affixed, and the cask is then complete, All 'wet' casks are made in the same way, and are iron-bound as a rule; vinegar casks, however, are an exception, for they are bound with 'twigged hoops', that is to say with hoops twisted round with twigs, the hoops being of hazel, and the twigs or overlapping part, of willow.'

 
   
    Coopers at Work, Eighteenth Century  
 
 


Coopers at Work,
eighteenth century

 
 
 
 
 
 

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A GAGGLE OF GANDERS

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