TOP BRASS

Top brass is a term usually used to refer to people in the highest positions of an organisation, such as the military or in business. This is a legacy from when leaders in the 19th century British army wore brass oak leaves on the brim of their caps. The phrase sprang to mind when I saw these brilliantly shining brass taps in the camping area of the Karoo National Park:

The brass connection for the fire hydrant in the reception area was equally shiny:

There is an obsession about shining brass objects in our national parks – including the window latches – that always make me look at my brass garden tap and brass window latches that remain dull, and have become duller over time, with a feeling that I ought to do something about shining them. The feeling doesn’t last long though as I have far too many other things with which to occupy my time.

24 thoughts on “TOP BRASS

  1. I can recall polishing the brass insignia on my Army uniform, and the brass belt buckle. Once, during basic training, I had the privilege of polishing all the brass fixtures and copper pipes on the urinals in a barracks bathroom. The gleam doesn’t last long, so it can be a constant chore.

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    • Thank you for this contribution Robert. It is this constant chore that amazes me: so much effort to look smart – this too must be an almost daily chore.

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  2. As a child I used to be taken to visit a distant relation in a small farm not very far from where I now live. It was a day i lookd forward because it was such a different life from mine in Suburbia. One thing which fascinated me was that the copper water pipes which ran around the walls of the main room to the scullery were always highly polished. I was too well brought up to ask why!

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    • That bug is a bee and it is placed above the outdoor communal taps in the camping area of the Karoo National Park to alert users of the presence of bees. During very hot or dry weather the bees regularly visit the bird baths that are placed below the taps.

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  3. Those items do look impressive polished, as do window latches as you mention. Impressive as they are when polished, I also have never polished the window latches or brass taps at our home.

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