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Two Neolithic Flints

Two Neolithic Flints

On loan from Printmaker Laney Birkhead
“These 2 flints were given to me on my 40th Birthday by my sister Cassie who owns a larger collection of Neolithic flints and axe heads from which these 2 came, which have been passed down through the family. Please note the small hole in one where you can thread a fine twine or feather through maybe. They originally belonged to my Great Grandad Lawrence Abram a fisherman born in Fleetwood on the West Coast of Lancashire, who spent most of his life working in Preston on the river Ribble as a fisherman and later as a foreman on the large dredger which kept the river estuary from silting up. He and his brothers used to hire themselves out as workers on the river and once they were over in Ireland dredging the river Bann, so the family legend goes, they started hauling out huge amounts of these finds and his youngest brother was given the job of picking through the silt and mud and bagging up the flints and other finds into sacks, as the man they were working for knew they held some value. They apparently were not paid for their work and had a fall out with this man, so they helped themselves to a couple of sacks of this ‘treasure’ in lieu of payment and got in their boat and sailed back across the Irish sea home to Preston. My late Great Uncle Lawrie remembered these flints and other carved round stone balls being used as play things when they were all little and he and his brothers played skittles with them. My Great Grandfather left the majority of the hoard to Preston Museum just before the First World War, and what remained my Grandfather Fred kept. Just before Fred sailed off for a retirement in Australia in 1978 he passed on the collection to my sister. These are one of my most treasured possessions and I like to think they could be connected in some way to some of the most sacred prehistoric sites just near the river Bann such as Newgrange which is rich in carvings and other beautiful stone age art. I have tried to trace the rest of the original collection but Preston Museum does not hold records back that far of donations to the museum, but my quest is still on to find out their source.”

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