A digging plate

Many spades have a kind of lip on the top of the blade so that when pressure is applied ordinary footwear is adequate to protect the digger from pain.

Some spades, though, have quite a sharp top to them and tough soles are needed on boots or shoes.

Or alternatively, you could attach a digging plate to your boot or shoe. This consists of a sturdy metal plate and a leather strap to fasten it under the sole of a shoe.

A digging plate at Market Lavington Museum

A digging plate at Market Lavington Museum

This dates from late in the nineteenth century and was used by a man who had an allotment on Northbrook.

From the underside we can see that the plate had a little lip to make sure it didn’t slide off the spade.

The lip on the underside

The lip on the underside

Now there’s a real reminder of past times.

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