here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”

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Wind Vane

March 21, 2020

If we linger for a moment to look upwards, wind vanes are still a common sight sitting atop church steeples, tall buildings and old farm houses.

Evidence of the first wind or weather vanes dates back as far as the second century in ancient China and here in the British Isles in the times before modern meteorology they played an important role in showing the direction of the wind and providing a way to read the incoming weather.

The word vane comes from the Old English word fana, meaning 'flag' and popular designs for wind vanes include cockerels – the sign of St Peter – as well as horses, ships and arrows.

Perhaps the most famous wind vane in Britain is the one at Lord’s Cricket Ground which depicts the mythical figure of Old Father Time complete with his long beard, hourglass and a scythe.

During the Georgian period the British navy achieved superiority over the seas and it was considered that London was the centre of the world. A sophisticated design of wind vane was installed on the British Admiralty Building and curiously it didn’t have any compass indicators on the vane at all.

Instead the vane controlled a mechanical dial on the wall of the Admiralty boardroom below so that they could always see the direction of the wind during their meetings and assemblies.

Broken Clock has its own affiliation with the wind thanks to the organic windfall apples in our recipe which drop from the tree only once they are fully ripe and the prevailing wind knocks them from the old orchard boughs.