Newly felled trees had to be cut into useable pieces for furniture making, and this job was carried out by the Sawyer and his Mate.

The Sawyer’s Mate had the unenviable task of standing in the pit beneath the horizontal log whilst his boss, the Sawyer, stood on top – they each had hold of a handle in order to work the massive saw, and as they worked away all the sawdust would fall down onto the Sawyer’s Mate.

It would have been incredibly hard work, and I have no doubt that this was yet another cause of COPD.

Out of interest, it is said that the terms “Top Dog” and “Under Dog” originated from this pair, with the Top Dog being the Sawyer standing on top of the log, and the Under Dog being the Sawyer’s Mate down beneath the log in the pit.