Clay roof tiles have a long and rich history and have stood the test of time on countless buildings throughout the years. The manufacturers of clay roof tiles typically guarantee the tiles for a period of thirty years and state that sixty years is a perfectly reasonable service life.
One only has to walk around and look at the buildings in many areas to see that the clay roof tiles have been in place for even longer than the upper age range of sixty years.
Clay roof tiles have been the go-to finishing touch on roofs for many centuries. Some manufacturers of clay roof tiles produce a wealth of designs and shades to suit any property and budget, whereas others tend to specialise in a more targeted production or style.
At present, no in-service test exists for any roof tile. The only way to predict the quality and longevity of a clay roof tile is to look to the British Standards for clay roof tiles. These contain several tests that determine the suitability of new clay roof tiles during production.
The test methods include a range of testing parameters, such as dimensional regularity, the width, flatness and freeze-thaw resistance of the clay roof tile, as well as the flexural strength and how they stand up to water permeability.
Two criteria, namely the dimensional and flatness measurements will not apply to clay roof tiles that have already provided many years of reliable service. Also, the freeze-thaw resistance test, which checks for cracking, flaking and splitting of the tiles after a series of freezing and thawing cycles, is not a good test for tiles that have endured many British winters over the years.
The clay roof tiles must have sufficient flexural strength to resist strong winds too. This is resistance would most likely be an up-lift force, where the strong wind would lift the lower edge of the clay roof tile. The requisite standard set out is that the clay roof tiles should possess a minimum flexural strength of six hundred Newtons.
You can measure the flexural strength of a set of clay roof tiles if they have been removed from several areas of the roof and subjected to a simulated force.
The water permeability test determines whether a tile is so porous that water can seep through it. Tiles are bonded to the bottom of frames that are then filled with water. The test is passed if no water drips from the bottom of the tiles within twenty-four hours. Clearly, the very last thing you want is a clay roof tile that fails to keep the rain out.
The durability and longevity of a roof is governed by the condition of all the different components that complete the structure, including the timber battens and rafters, the underfelt, the roofing nails and the quality of the clay roof tile installation.
Should all the various elements that make up the roof be sound and of good quality, there is no reason why a clay roof tile should not last many years beyond the sixty-year mark.
The Bedfordshire clanger is a convenience food from Bedfordshire and adjacent counties in England, such as Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. It dates back to at least the 19th century. You can still find this local offering at various bakers and served in some cafes, restaurants and local places of interest in and around Bedfordshire.
The word "clanger" is related to the dialect term "clung", with the meaning leaning towards "heavy", in relation to food.
The clanger is a long suet crust dumpling, which is sometimes described as a savoury type of roly-poly pudding. Its name may refer to its dense consistency. A 19th-century English Dialect Dictionary recorded the phrase "clung dumplings" from Bedfordshire, citing "clungy" and "clangy" as adjectives meaning heavy or close-textured.
Bedfordshire Clangers were historically made by women for their husbands to take to their agricultural work as an easy and quick meal. Many argue that the crust was not originally intended to be eaten, but to protect the fillings from the dirty hands of the workers. They could be eaten cold, or warmed by being wrapped in damp newspaper under a brazier. While sometimes associated with the hatmakers of the Luton district of Bedfordshire, the same dish was also recorded in rural Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
The Bedfordshire Clanger was traditionally boiled in a cloth like other suet puddings, though some modern recipes use a shortcrust or other pastry and suggest baking it like a pasty, a method dating from a 1990s revival of the dish by a commercial bakery. The dumpling can be filled with liver and onion, bacon and potatoes, pork and onions, or other meat and vegetables, and flavoured with the garden herb sage.
Usually a savoury dish, clangers were also said to have been prepared with a sweet filling, such as jam or fruit, in one end; this variant is referred to in a Bedfordshire Magazine of the 1960s as a half and half, with "clanger" reserved for a savoury version. A 1959 reference also suggests that clangers were usually savoury, stating that the version with a sweet filling in one end was called the Trowley Dumpling after the hamlet in west Hertfordshire where it was supposed to have originated. There is some doubt as to how often a sweet filling was traditionally added in practice, though modern recipes often imitate the folklore by including one.
A similar dumpling was known in parts of Buckinghamshire, particularly Aylesbury Vale, as a "Bacon Badger". It was made from bacon, potatoes and onions, flavoured with sage and enclosed in a suet pastry case, and was usually boiled in a cloth. The etymology of "badger" is unknown but might relate to a former term for a dealer in flour. "Badger" was widely used in the Midland counties in the early 19th century to refer to a "cornfactor, mealman, or huckster". The same basic suet dumpling recipe is known by a variety of other names elsewhere in the country; "flitting pudding" is recorded in County Durham, "dog in blanket" from Derbyshire, and "bacon pudding" in Berkshire and Sussex.
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