Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

6 Sep 2010

Competition Time! Win a Copy of ‘Local Sustainable Homes’

It’s competition time here again at Transition Culture!  You can win a copy of Chris Bird’s just-about-to-be-published book ‘Local Sustainable Homes’  (I have 5 copies to give away) by telling me the answer to the following before midday this Thursday (9th September).  Please email your answer to rob (at) (do not post as a comment).  Which two of the following ten local natural building materials or related terms is merely a product of my fevered imagination?

1. “Clunch”: a soft limestone favoured in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire

2.  “Wychert”: a kind of cob using chalk, favoured in Buckinghamshire

3. “Clay lump”: blocks made of straw and clay, using boulder clay from unstratified glacial deposits

4. “Rumpletumping”: a West Midlands term for picking through a pile of rounded stone to find the ideal stone for a drystone wall

5. “Clom”:  the Cornish term for cob building

6.  “Thackstones”: a term used in the Pennines to describe thick flagstones

7. “Cobble ducks”: term used in Cumbria to describe a wall made from cobbles

8. “Stob”: the term for a handful of straw with a knot in one end used as part of rethatching an old straw roof

9. “Grot-stock”.  A Kentish material, mostly made from cow’s mucus, often used as an alternative to wallpaper paste, used in traditional building as a glaze over fine limework.

10. “Grumping”: a stone rubble base used under wychert walls

(I am indebted to my well-thumbed copy of the sadly now out-of-print ‘Craft Techniques for Traditional Buildings’ by Adela Wright for some of the above terms).

Categories: General

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1 Comment

6 Sep 9:30pm

Ah man that is hard… I narrowed it down to 3 or 4 but couldn’t get it down to a definitive 2… anyway I am happy to wait for a copy to arrive in my local library. Or I may suggest we get a copy at work! 🙂