Villager Gill Gates discovered the calendar buried amongst ritual items, in a box marked ‘Christmas’ in her loft.
“When I dusted this fascinating object down, I realised I was looking at one of the earliest methods of recording time”, said Gates. “It even predates the controversial one my grandfather kept in his kitchen; the one with an image of a tennis girl, idly scratching at her arse.”
At first, Gates believed the calendar was from late Plastocenic period: a simpler time when the tv channels didn’t broadcast during the day. “It could have been carved from materials at hand, and then decorated using poster paints”, suggested Gates. “It’s just the sort of thing that could have been knocked up in a shed.”
However, Gates understanding of her family’s appalling DIY abilities caused her to dig a little further. “I turned it over, and saw a sticker on the back”, she revealed.
The faded icons on the label hinted at Arabic numerical symbols. “I’m good at those”, said Gates. “It said ’67 ½p'”.
Using the red inscription above these figures, Gates traced the origin to a Woolworths that once stood in Dunstable. Despite its incredible age Gates believes that the item is still capable of functioning today, given a drop of WD-40 and some space cleared on the mantelpiece.
“It relies on some expertise to operate”, acknowledged Gates. “For instance, are there 31 days in November, or just 30? And is it Saturday, or will I be fired from work?”
Gates hinted that the date could be calibrated using the ‘counting knuckles’ method, but admits that for someone who didn’t know what day it was, it was as useless as the clock on her father’s VCR.
The Gates Calendar will be displayed between now and the end of August, when her birthday should hopefully obscure the thing with a card. “Unless I don’t get one again”, said Gates. “In which case, you’ll only be able to see this relic if you look up my husband’s bottom.”