Posted by: kathandroger | June 21, 2014

Elsie and the Winnowing Machine.

When we first moved to La Belardiere , the workings of the old farm were still to be found all around. The big machines had all gone, but in the barns we found lots of bits and pieces like the wine press and old pulley blocks. I hate to see the past discarded, and we have incorporated all we could into our conversion. The old winnowing machine is the last to be renovated. They are not uncommon in this region, and all seem to be of the same design, although different types are found in different regions. After the corn has been removed from the stalks, the grain in cleaned from the chaff by means of a rotating drum which paddles a strong wind to blow off all the lighter, unwanted material. Our machine was not in bad condition, but as they are made of light wood, it had a bit of worm in it and and was covered in years and years of grime. After cleaning and treating the wood and metal bearings, all works beautifully,and it makes a lovely clattering sound with bits and pieces moving in all directions.IMG_2634

Kath has always wanted another 2cv. We had one in England when we ran our restaurant business, and as it was a van version proved both useful and fun. Millions were made over many years, and basically they are light, cheap, comfortable but noisy motoring for the masses. Slow and bouncy, with tiny engines (my lawn mower has a larger one!), they at one time had a waiting list of several years for ownership. Production ceased many years ago, but they are so different from modern motorcars that their popularity continues, despite them being polluting little beasts. Prices have risen steadily over the years, so unlike modern cars depreciation is not a problem. After a little local searching, we found ours in a lovely little village only a few miles away. She had been completely renovated a few years ago, was obviously loved, and the charming elderly owners seemed pleased she was going to a good home. Kath has named her Elsie, after her one time French teacher and friend who died recently. Driving Elsie is a pleasure, with clattering sounds and bits and pieces moving in all directions-now where have I heard that before?IMG_2631


  1. Welcome back into the club!

  2. Kath,
    Susan said it…
    now you can join 2cvGB and keep informed [in Anglais]…
    actually, there is a very useful members handbook that has a lot of useful technical stuff in it for Roger to get his hands dirty on!!
    “A 2CV is not a car… it is a way of life!!”

    And with that winnowing machine, you can start to save plant seed…
    if you can find a nice selection of grid sizes??

  3. OH… and they aren’t polluting little machines… a 2CV kept on the road causes less pollution in its lifetime than that caused by manufacturing three new modern vehicles…
    same goes for your MG, Roger….
    a very nice white TF or TD with a black soft-top…
    growled gently past ours yesterday…
    keep the real cars on the road and save the planet!!

  4. You’ve done a lovely job on that winnowing machine, Roger.
    The World Meeting of 2cv Friends in 2015 is in Poland, 28th July till August 2nd. We could form a convoy… P.

  5. Wow! Love Elsie. Could she be shared around La Belardiere?! Sophie says she wants a ride!

  6. Always open to offers…! But did you notice the empty clean barn she was in?!

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