Brick hod

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Twin brothers Albert and Ebenezer Fox each holding a hod

A brick hod is a three-sided box for carrying bricks or other construction materials, often mortar. It bears a long handle and is carried over the shoulder. A hod is usually long enough to accept 4 bricks on their side, however, by arranging the bricks in a chevron fashion, the number of bricks that may be carried is only limited to the weight the labourer can bear and the unwieldiness of that load. Typically 10-12 bricks might be carried.[1][2]

Hod carrying is a skilled labouring occupation in the building industry. Typically the hod carrier or hoddie will be employed by a bricklaying team in a supporting role to the skilled bricklayers. Two bricklayers for each hod carrier is quite normal. The hoddie's duties might include wetting the mortar boards on the scaffolding prior to fetching bricks from the delivery pallet using his hod and bringing them to 2x2 wide 'stacks' upon the scaffold that may then be easily laid by the bricklayers. The carrier needs to time deliveries of bricks with deliveries of mortar - also carried in the hod - to ensure the bricklayers maintain a constant work rate. On sites without premixed mortar, the mortar will also be mixed by the hod carrier. Bricks may be cut and assistance given to 'rake out' the mortar joints, if that form of coursing joint is required, or in repointing work. The baseline rate for a bricklayer is to lay 1000 bricks a day, if the hod carrier is serving a team of two then he must move 2000 bricks although it is not uncommon for experienced hod carriers to serve three bricklayers. The World Record for moving 500 bricks by Hod is 12 minutes and was set by John Logan, age 46, on the 12th of February 2011.[citation needed]

Song references[edit]

  • In the song Never Any Good, Martin Simpson describes his father as "not steady enough for the office, not hard enough for the hod."
  • In the Irish folk song "Finnegan's Wake," the line "...to rise in the world he carried a hod," suggests that Tim Finnegan worked as a bricklayer.
  • In the song "The Sick Note" by the Dubliners, the narrator of the song is told to cart a load of bricks down fourteen floors "in me hod."
  • The song "Seven Days of the Week" by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger mentions "the poor old sod who'd built the world and carried the hod."
  • In the song "McAlpine's Fusiliers" it says of Sir Robert McAlpine, "...McAlpine's God is a well-filled hod."
  • In the song "Missing You" by Jimmy MacCarthy has the line "Your best mate’s a spade and he carries a hod"[3]

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