Tawse Trivia

Here’s a little info on the tawse and its history, along with a picture of quite a few tawses:

Many Scottish saddlers used to make tawses but the best implements were undoubtedly manufactured by the firm of John Dick & Sons of Lochgelly, a small town about 12 miles north of Edinburgh. Later the firm moved to nearby Cowdenbeath.

The famous Lochgelly tawse began with a saddler named Philps who started making tawses for his son and daughter who were both teachers. These proved so effective that other teachers soon wanted to own a Lochgelly and the business quickly expanded. The firm eventually passed in to the hands of the Dick family and remained with them for three generations until they ceased trading in 1984. At one time the firm was selling 70 or 80 tawses a week and also had a thriving export trade.

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