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Metal hook

Bernard Drage wants to know what this is hook is for.

Bernard Drage wrote:

This object came from a repair workshop, dealing with tractors and trailer maintenance and repairs for Peterborough Development Corporation. (They built Peterborough ‘New Town.’) The 'Spear' is made of soft iron. The handle and two angled supports have been forge welded together. The handle is a touch off 90 degrees, so I suggest made by eye by a blacksmith. The overall length is 6 ft. tapering from about 3/8" to ½" diameter. 'T' of handle is about 12", angled handle supports 5/16" diameter. Perhaps used to dig out a turnip or sugarbeet from an inaccesible area in a piece of machinery. Peterborough used to be big on sugarbeet - you could smell the factory for miles! It came as part of a 'mixed bag', comprising sugar/turnip knives, drawknives, sheepshears, straw bale hooks, shoe lasts; a pretty eclectic mix. Two apple crates of stuff!

Brian Read suggested it might be a tool for removing thatch from a burning building.

Andy Tuckwell supplied this picture of thatch hooks, from one of Mary Hartley's books - they look easier to handle.

Rachael Massey, a TATHS member, identified it positively:

It is a Stack Tester. It was driven deep into a haystack to sample the hay at the centre, to check for possible ‘self combustion’ or degradation of the stack.The clue is the barb, which ‘hooked’ hay or straw as you pulled it out.

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