SEVERAL people knew last week’s Craven curiosity was a pair of sheep shears, so well done to Paul Harper, Elaine Wills, John Harrison, Anne Burgess, Jim Martindale, John Bilsborough and Chris Battersby.

Ann Harding tells us she has a pair which belonged to her grandfather, who farmed Scarcliffe Farm, Carleton, in the 1920s and 30s. Her grandfather came from a farming family in Hebden, so she believes they will have been used even longer by different generations of the same family.

Bryan Morgan, collections assistant at Craven Museum, where the shears are on show, says this particular set were made in the late 1700s by I & H Sorby of Sheffield.

“The company was founded by local farmers in the 1500s to manufacture knives, sickles, shears, scissors and cutlery. Often the blades were rounded off to protect the hide of the sheep, but these have been left sharp to make cutting through the sheep’s thick and oily wool easier,” he says.

Before electricity, the shearing of livestock would all have been done by hand. Now, farmers use electric shears - although hand ones can still be seen at exhibitions and shows.

“The design of these shears was also the pattern of smaller, household shears that would act like modern scissors,” adds Bryan.

How about having a go at this week’s mystery item? Suggestions for this week’s Craven curiosity should be sent no later than 8am on Monday to