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> European Blackthorn Country Derby Cane Sandalwood Handle - Metal Tip
 European Blackthorn Country Derby Cane Sandalwood Handle - Metal Tip

European Blackthorn Country Derby Cane Sandalwood Handle - Metal Tip

ITEM # C-1214
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Blackthorn Country Derby Cane Sandalwood Handle - Metal Tip

Over time, this handsome and strong cane will become a greatly loved possession.

  • A collectors' walking stick, this comfortable derby cane features a wide carved Sandalwood Derby style handle to suit the larger hand. It can hook conveniently over the arm, and be held in either hand.
  • A smart brass collar joins it to a natural Blackthorn shaft, one of the most sought-after woods for traditional country sticks both for their appearance and for their heritage.
  • All solid natural Blackthorn wood; never black enamel paint.
  • This stick is fitted with a metal tip.
  • Approximate overall height 36 1/2", diameter 1".
  • Accessory: For better grip and stability a rubber tip designed to slide over the included metal tip is available for purchase on the walking stick page. Select a size 3/4" Heavy Duty Rubber Tip or size Medium Ingrid Retractable Spike or Classic Rubber Tip for this stick. Please make note of this size for any future reference.
The Derby Handle is an elegant shape that offers excellent support: the hand cannot slip forwards or back, and the user's weight is supported directly above the stick. One of the most popular handles for the walking stick user in need of light to middling support and balance.

Blackthorn is known as a winter shrub. The mass of snow white flowers blossom March through April, before the oval leaves appear, followed by purple sloes in autumn. These blue-black fruits are edible and also used to make into warming sloe gin. Rustic in appearance the bark of the blackthorn walking stick can be any color from reddish-brown through to almost black. The spines are cut back and sanded to produce a distinctive look. Cut in winter, the stick is then seasoned for one year before being straightened and finished by hand. Read more...

Environmentally Sustainable Resource Management Practices ensuring continuous, ready availability. The traditional sustainable forestry technique of coppicing to produce the raw material for walking sticks is practiced. This method results in a new crop of walking sticks every year without ever needing to fell the parent trees, so the system works in harmony with nature and provides a beneficial habitat for our native woodland flora and fauna.
Forestry is probably the most carbon negative industry in which man engages, so by buying a wooden walking stick, the user is doing their bit to support responsible forestry and our environment.

The name for the blackthorn in Ogham, a language used by the Druids, is straif, the origin of the word "strife" and is about Conflict.

see walking sticks and accessories | blackthorn / hazel history & uses

Please Note: Walking Sticks are not intended to be used like a crutch for full weight support, they are intended only for balance.

Why use a walking stick?

Walking sticks are regular companions to people of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the type of walking. Anything from a simple afternoon stroll to a rigorous multi-day hike through the woods can be aided by a walking stick. Such aids range from a simple stick made from a tree branch to specialized, ergonomic sticks purchased at high prices from outdoor-gear stores. Regardless of the stick you use, there are several ways they can help you.

Many people see a walking stick as merely something only to be used by the elderly or infirm. The hiker, casual walker, farmer or other country person knows better. A good walking stick, apart frpm its aesthetic qualities, quickly becomes a constant companion and something to be appreciated by its owner and admired or envied by others.

When out walking, a good stick helps maintain the natural rhythm of your gait and seems to make the miles less fatiguing. At the same time it comes in handy for pushing aside brambles and nettles; helping you scramble up a bank; or fending off fearsomely agressive dogs. (For some reason, the most aggressive dog will ease off once he notices that you are comfortably armed!). The farmer uses his stick to move animals around or to lean on while yarning with his neighbours.

Self Defense

Carrying a walking stick gives many a sense of added protection and personal safety. Aggressive dogs are less inclined to cause problems if the walker is in possession of a walking stick.

Benefits of Walking

Walking is an ideal form of exercise. It requires no equipment or expense and is one of the best ways for you to become more active. Regular walking can improve confidence, stamina and energy, and help control your weight. It can also keep your heart strong, give you more energy and help reduce stress. And, a nice walking stick can quickly become a good companion as you go on your hike and health walk.

Improved Upper-Body Workout

Using a walking stick requires lifting the stick, placing it ahead of you and helping support your body’s weight with your arms as you move. Over the course of a long walk, this can be a good workout for your arms and shoulders, helping you burn more calories as you exercise. You shouldn’t find yourself exhausted while using a walking stick, but the Mayo Clinic says the stick will increase the intensity of your workout.

Back and Joint Health

Walking sticks help redistribute your body’s weight–instead of all your weight coming down on your back, hips and knees, a walking stick displaces some of your weight from your back and lower body and supports it through your arms and the stick itself. This can reduce wear and tear on your joints and muscles, which can help people with arthritis or back problems. Walking poles also foster proper posture as you use them, particularly in your upper back. Proper posture helps distribute weight evenly and safely, reducing your risk of injury and improving your back health.

Improved Stability and Balance

When you walk over trails or other uneven surfaces, various obstacles or objects can make it difficult to maintain your balance, such as when you are going uphill, walking on soft or loose dirt, or stepping on rocks as you walk. Walking sticks help stabilize your body and reduce your risk of falling or slipping. The sticks also assist on hills by providing stability, especially as walkers become fatigued and their muscle strength and stability becomes less certain. The Appeal of Blackthorn Walking Sticks

The blackthorn, or Prunus spinosa, is a shrubby bush with vicious thorns and a suckering habit, so that it forms dense hedges through which livestock cannot escape. Indeed, the impenetrable forest in the fairytale Sleeping Beauty is said to have been a blackthorn thicket. It grows particularly well in Ireland and England, where blackthorn sticks cut from hedges have been popular for many centuries.

In Ireland, the blackthorn walking stick has a long history of use as a fighting stick. Thus, there is a certain amount of prestige and prowess associated with carrying a blackthorn stick. There are also many mentions of blackthorn in Irish mythology, not least that the 'little people' live in blackthorn bushes. They can take exception to their homes being cut down to make walking sticks. To avoid bad luck, the stick cutter should wait until a branch of the blackthorn has tapped him on the shoulder to give permission before the first cut is made. The hero of the 19th century Irish song, 'The Rocky Road to Dublin', cuts "A stout blackthorn to banish ghosts and goblins," which seems a good a reason to carry a blackthorn walking stick.

In England, blackthorn has long been thought to have magical properties and, according to West Country folklore, local witches used blackthorn sticks to aid them in their mischief making. The belief that blackthorn walking sticks were connected with witches persisted here until the time of the Second World War. They now have a more positive image; indeed, some British Army regiments carry blackthorn walking sticks on ceremonial occasions.

In Scotland, winter traditionally begins when the Cailleach (the winter goddess) strikes her blackthorn shaft on the ground. In the 17th century, the good people of Edinburgh burnt Major Thomas Weir as a witch, in part because they did not approve of his blackthorn staff, which his sister said had been given to him by the Devil. The staff is now said to roam the streets around the West Bow looking for its master. The Scots are not thought to have not burnt any men as witches since, so owning a blackthorn staff is thankfully somewhat safer for the modern gentleman.

Care of your wooden Walking Stick or Cane

Walking sticks are generally robust items suitable for active use. However, a little care and maintenance will improve the appearance of your walking stick or seat and may extend its working life. Some useful tips are as follows:

Wooden walking sticks should be regularly cleaned of mud and grime by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. They should be dried after use in wet weather and stored somewhere dry and warm but away from direct heat sources such as stoves and radiators. An occasional light polish with furniture polish or beeswax will also protect the wood and enhance the finish, although this should not be done with natural bark rustic sticks that have not been varnished (for example many bark ash sticks).

Ensure worn or damaged metal or rubber ferrules are replaced promptly, both for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the cane.

see walking stick and cane accessories | see the walking stick - history and uses

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