'All things uncomely and broken…'
Wrote WB yeats. He must have been in a barn at the time. (A response to Richard Hammond)
If I were Richard Hammond, I'd be a bit worried. To be honest, If I were Richard Hammond, I'd be suicidal, because every day I'd wake up and realise I was Richard Hammond. Of more immediate concern, though, and as you may well have read by now over on Fob Jockeys, is that his birthday present is a mysterious 'barn find'.
Richard Hammond is beside himself. He doesn't know what he's getting for his birthday from his fragrant and wonderful wife, he knows only that it's in a barn and will be revealed soon. How exciting is that? Well, hang on a minute.
This really is in a barn somewhere, where it belongs.
Imagine if I said, 'Hammond, your birthday present is going to be a big surprise. All I can tell you is that I found it in a wheelie bin round the back of a housing estate.'
Because that's what a barn find is. Assuming this is a real one, and not just a tatty MG Midget that's been parked in a barn for effect, then it's something that's been thrown away. It's not as if, at the birth of Richard Hammond, someone said 'Let's put this Birdcage Maserati in an old barn so that a gobby bloke from Birmingham can find it when he's 38'. No; whatever it is was put in a barn for the same reason that most of us put things in a skip. Because it was broken. It's just that people with barns have more space for crap and aren't obliged to take it to the dump/scrapyard.
I bought a barn find once. It was only a 90cc Honda step-through motorcycle and cost virtually nothing, but you could tell. That it was found in a barn, I mean. It was unadulterated tat from end to end, so I took it to the corporation tip, thereby completing a task that someone failed to get round to 30 years earlier.
I'm slightly surprised at Hammond, who I regard as an intelligent bloke. Living as he does in medieval England, he owns a barn. In it one may 'find' a selection of metals waiting to be turned into something useful, like a toaster. So he must know.
'What if… what if…?' asks the Hamster, under a picture of 50 percent of a car that might have been driven by Clement Attlee. What if indeed. I'm assuming what he's going to find is a car, a bike, or possibly a tractor of some sort, but let's not be hasty. I've compiled a list of some of the other things that are found in old barns:
Broken lawn mowers
Some of a bicycle from before the war
A barn dance
What if… what if…? Highly likely, I'd say.
Barns, to people who live in the sticks, are like attics for the rest of us. It's where you put junk. It's why the TV show 'Cash in the attic' doesn't work. There is no cash in the attic, only stuff that no-one has put in the bin yet.
Mind you, I can't wait to find out what it is.
Credits: aquarius83men, Andrew F. Kazmierski and VICHAILAO / Shutterstock.com