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Brushes and brooms at Paperstone

From lo-tech, no-frills brooms through to snazzier, scissor-action numbers, we really don't think you need to look further for your sweeping needs. We also supply grip and long-handle dustpan and brush sets, toilet brushes, and washing up brushes.

Brush up on your broom knowledge

  • Referring to sweeping implements the words brush and broom have both been around for over half a millennium. Both derive from the plant materials from which they were made though they have also since been made with other plant fibres, animal bristles and more recently, artificial fibres.
  • The phrase “to marry over a broomstick” referred to a quasi-marriage ceremony in which the parties jumped over a broom and came to suggest a marriage of dubious legitimacy.
  • Broomsticks, or besoms, are of course popularly associated with witchcraft. While other objects such as pitchforks and bowls have been associated with flying witches, engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612 popularised the image of the broomstick and this has stuck. It's possible that that the use of besoms in witchcraft begun when witches – and alleged witches – were persecuted since this household object alone would not incriminate a practitioner of witchcraft. Similarly there are accounts of witches disguising their wands as broomsticks. The phallic symbolism of women riding broomsticks probably hasn't compromised the image's longevity either.
  • Brooms have made regular cameo appearances in Disney films, most notably in Fantasia.
  • Sportsmen who have used a broom to hone their hand-eye coordination include legendary US baseball player Johnny “The Big Cat” Mize and world pocket billiards champion Willie Mosconi. Mosconi was not allowed to use cues and balls in his father's pool hall so he practised with a broomstick and potatoes.
  • The popular and alliteratively named puppet, Basil Brush, was investigated by the Hate Crimes Unit of Northamptonshire earlier this year. He had made a bad gypsy joke. The (controversial it seems) character has previously been accused of inciting homophobic attacks.
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