A FORTNIGHT ago, Frances Whitley of Bilton-in-Ainsty was telling us delicately how her father, a pork butcher, travelled around farms despatching the yard pig.

This was an event remembered well by Derrick Robinson, whom we met three weeks ago when he was using a wrigglewist to make a potato pie at his family farm in Middleton Tyas in the 1940s.

He remembers how the dead pig was hoisted up on a yoke, made of oak and designed with slots to take the legs, and then two or three people set to scrubbing with boiling water to the get the bristles off. “This was the hardest work,” he says.

Then belly was sliced open and the “the pluck” – lungs, liver and heart were taken out along with the “caul fat”, a membrane that went around the organs and which is considered all across Europe as something of a delicacy.

The butcher returned a couple of days later to cut the carcass in two, and trimmed out the various cuts of meat, which were then rubbed with blocks of salt and wrapped in linen sheets to cure.

“Our sitting room was very high, and the beams had hooks in them,” says Derrick. “The cuts of meat in the sheets were lifted up there, and when you wanted ham or bacon, you lifted it down, cut a piece out, wrapped it back up and hung it up again.”

He remembers the head, the tail and the trotters being boiled until every last bit of skin and meat had dropped off. The bits went through the mincer, and were boiled once more. “The pot was put on a stone floor in the pantry where it was very cold, and it would keep for months when it was called brawn,” he says.

The pluck was minced, and then snowball-sized lumps of it were wrapped in the caul fat and roasted.

“When taken out of the oven, they were left to go cold and then eaten,” says Derrick. “They were always called ducks.”

Fat was rendered to make lard, and any bits of meaty stuff leftover was called “craplings”. “They were put into bowls and eaten with bread and butter,” says Derrick.

As well as the brawn, the ducks and the craplings, there were sausages and black puddings, so every bit of the animal was consumed.

“When I was eight or nine, you had pig for breakfast, pig for dinner, pig for tea and pig for supper for a fortnight,” says Derrick, who now lives near Catterick. “That’s where the old saying 'pig sick' comes from.”