Pig branded ‘an extraordinary freak’ by Journal is a century-old family heirloom

Eagle-eyed readers of our Memory Lane page may have spotted a startling nugget of news from our 100 years ago section last week.

In September 1913 the Journal reported on the birth of a litter of 14 pigs, one of which was born with “a head closely resembling that of a dog, while its two fore-legs were very much deformed, almost like duck’s wings”.

The piglet was born in September, 1913. 472D

The piglet was born in September, 1913. 472D

Well, the piece certainly caught the eye of the Gee family as that very same pig has been a family heirloom for the past century.

Margaret Gee, of Belvoir Gardens, Great Gonerby, contacted the Journal this week. She said: “My son, Michael, got in touch to say ‘have you seen { Memory Lane?’

“I said I hadn’t and he told me I’d better take a look. I saw it and said ‘that’s my dad’s pig!’”

The 1913 story said the pig belonged to Edward Clarke of Gonerby Hill Foot but it actually belonged to his son, George Clarke – Margaret’s father.

The piglet was born in September, 1913. 472D

The piglet was born in September, 1913. 472D

However, George was in Canada at the time of the birth of the pig, which sadly died after only a few days.

However, George’s family were so taken by the unique looking animal they wanted him to see it when he returned home.

Margaret said: “It was George’s mum who decided to have it stuffed so he could see it because it’s so unusual. You couldn’t really do justice to it in a letter.”

Ever since the unusual piglet has remained in the family in a display box.

Margaret said: “It was with my father until 1983. Then I took it and my son said he wanted it so I told him he could have it.”

Today the piglet is on display in Michael Gee’s office at J&P Carpets in Westgate, serving as a constant reminder of his youth.

Margaret said: “Every time Michael was at his grandma and grandad’s he would see it. They had it on a shelf right at the bottom of the stairs so that every time you came down the stairs it was facing you.

“He said it brought back memories of his grandma and grandad. ‘That’s my childhood’, he said. So we thought he was the best person to have it. Ever since it’s stood on a shelf looking at Michael every time he goes in to play on his computer.

“When he’s finished with it - I don’t know what will happen to it.”

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The original story which appeared in the Journal in 1913 read:

A sow belonging to Mr Edward Clarke, a Great Northern platelayer, living at 8 Richmond Terrace, Gonerby Hill Foot, on Saturday had a litter of 14 pigs.

One of the number, which only survived a couple of days, had a head closely resembling that of a dog, while its two fore-legs were very much deformed, almost like ducks’ wings in the early stages of development.

There were no feet on the hind legs.

The freak, which is being preserved, has aroused considerable interest in the neighbourhood.