Bramble by Harry Brockway

Bramble by Harry Brockway


This carving, in Lepine limestone (a French stone) by Harry Brockway, celebrates the word ‘Bramble’, and was created as part of our exhibition ‘The Lost Words - Forget-me-not.’ For this exhibition artists have created a permanent record of the natural words removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Size: 11 x 48 cm


A prickly scrambling shrub of the rose family, especially a blackberry.

ORIGIN: Old English bræmbel, brǣmel, of Germanic Origin; related to broom.

An untidy plant, tangled and spiky, sneaking in among the blackcurrant bushes. The glorious blackberries are here today but gone tomorrow. Most are just out of reach – too high or on the other side of a ditch, if the birds don't get there first. The berries stain your fingers and clothes, the prickles are lethal.

Banished as they are from our tidy modest gardens, you need to cycle or drive into the countryside, perhaps venturing into a field of cows or risking life and limb from passing cars on the verge of a narrow lane, to find enough berries for a pie. It takes time. Thickets on urban wasteland are fraught with risks –barbed wire, dog mess, needles, contamination from exhaust fumes. Best to resist the temptation to pop a luscious berry in your mouth before you've washed it. Is this why the word bramble is fading from the lives of children, but survives in the nostalgic memories of their parents?

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