Is the village of Little Dunmow, formerly the seat of a priory, remarkable for the custom of presenting a flitch of bacon to any couple who could give proof that they had spent the first year of married life in perfect harmony, and had never at any moment wished they had tarried.
A revival of the custom was effected in 1855 by Harrison Ainsworth, author of the novel The Flitch of Bacon, but the scene of the ceremony was transferred to the town hall of Great Dunmow.
Andrews, History of the Dunmow Flitch of Bacon Customs, 1877.) Close to Little Dunmow is Felsted or Felstead; and Easton Lodge (with a railway station), a seat of the earl of Warwick, is in the vicinity.
The charges of coal fall into the hopper with a heavy shock, and in order to save the knife-edges there is a strong pin in each side of the hopper below the knife-edge, which, before the charge of coal is dropped into the hopper, is acted on by a strong horizontal flitch - plate, which heaves the hopper off the knife-edges and relieves them from the shock.
The heaving-up of the flitch-plate and hopper is effected by a cam on the end of a horizontal shaft which runs along the back of the machine behind the hopper.
The flitch-plate rests at one end on the top of this cam, and at the other end is shackled to the horizontal arm of a bell-crank lever which is pivoted on the frame.
When a charge of coal is dropped into the hopper, the bell-crank lever receives a violent jerk from the shackle of the flitch-plate, and this jerk by means of suitable mechanical arrangements throws a pinion on the cam shaft into gear with a wheel on a counter shaft From the Notice issued by the Standards Department of the Board of Trade, by permission of the Controller of H.M.
The cam shaft and the cam then begin to revolve, and the flitch-plate is gradually lowered till the knife-edge bearings of the hopper are received on the knife-edges of the main measuring levers, and the load is then weighed by the levers and the spring-balance.
The rotation of the cam shaft continues till the cam has again heaved up the flitch-plate, when the pinion on the cam shaft is thrown out of gear with the wheel on the counter shaft, and the cam remains steady till another charge of coal is dropped into the hopper and the action is renewed.