Monday, 13 October 2014

Weald & Downland Autumn Show 11/12th October at Singleton West Sussex

Once again I found myself invited by Mark Allery to this the last big public event of the season. The reconstructed buildings that have been moved from all over Sussex, are a real treat if you have never been before. It was such a busy weekend I did not get the opportunity to look again. They are structurally complete along with furniture, some original and much was made on site by their carpenter.

The best treat there is to get a pasty and beans for lunch from the on-site cafĂ© and then sit at one of the beautiful oak tables in a timber-framed building.  Americans would pay big money for that!

The museum is supported by an army of volunteers and I can understand why. It is a really special place and if lived locally I would feel that it was my public duty to help build and maintain this fabulous slice of English heritage.


OK, so back to bodging - this is Nancy on tea patrol in the drizzle. You can see it is the first day – the kitchen area is clean! 

And there are no big engine tracks in the grass.

Late on Saturday afternoon, the besom broom making competition was held. In past years Peter Jameson has been a commentator and a contestant at this event (not both). This year he was in charge of the hurdle making on Sunday.

Well I was adzing away thinking to myself – that bloke with the microphone sound  more and more like Mike Gordon – well of course it was, it was just then that I noticed young Harry shooting some footage for a YouTube video. 

I did not manage to get a picture of all the competitors but here are some.

When I tried to take these images I asked the young lady timekeeper to move of my shot – It was Sue Reeve, so bodgers rule OK?


Phil Piddell came a respectable third (well done him – he had never made one before) and won some cash (hope he gave his coach Graham half). I am happy to report that he did not keep it for long and wisely invested some of it with Warwicker’s Enterprises Inc.

The threshing machine driven by a traction engine never fails to impress, I think it was Richard Bingham who told me the quieter the engines are the better condition and the much more valuable they are.

We were well represented over the weekend with the following bodgers -

Angus on spoons as well as Clau, Sarah Ripley on baskets, Fionn, Nick, Harriott and Mike on pole lathes. Mike Church on trugs. 

We also acquired a new member Kev who was carving and turning - thanks.

The Sussex group really have increased their membership this season. I am not surprised however, since they give up plenty of their time for have a go requests.

As is usual, Mark organised everything, helped with competition judging, made a grand besan broom and entertained as well - I am sure that was just the tip of the iceberg!  

Thank you for all your hard work Mark.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Visit to Cherry Wood project week 02/05 October

The roundhouse started during the spring project week is nearing completion.

The living roof was sprouting nicely

The balcony is complete – just the floor inside and the walls still drying out.

Next season it is to be the cook’s house – so Dave will be a very lucky man; with two female apprentices as well.

This is the Cherry Wood Choir rehearsal for a song ‘Give us the Land’ there were some great musicians about this week.

The song will be on their website and hopefully a smash YouTube hit.

I was asked to build a smoker from a gas bottle – this is my new apprentice Rod from Homerton in London who had just arrived. He works in a wood yard but wanted to pick up some skills in metalwork.

He did very well; gas welding is a lot cooler when someone else does it.

One of the groups running through the song earlier in the week; note the autoharp, something I have not seen or heard before, a big sound from such a small soundboard.


Cherry Wood has a great tradition of cake with afternoon tea. 

This was almost the last creation from the outgoing chef who has a new job cooking for Druids starting next week.

Worshipful Company of Turners luncheon at Apothecaries Hall Blackfriars 02-10-14


I was an invited guest of David Batchelor, chairman of the HOWE committee. The occasion was to thank people for their work for the company.

I arrived in town at Liverpool St station a fully restored magnificent building that most commuters would perhaps take for granted.

  History of Liverpool Street station      

 Originally completed in 1874, Liverpool Street station benefited from a major redevelopment in the late 1980s. It is the London terminus of the former Great Eastern Railway, originally providing routes to Norwich via Ipswich and Kings Lynn via Cambridge.

This latest addition to the London skyline the Walkie Talkie Building is testament to the power of computer engineering. It’s actually close to Liverpool St station but this view is from Blackfriars.

I believe that most of the interior of Apothecaries Hall dates back to 1672 when it was rebuilt after the great fire in 1666.

This was one of many great paintings hanging in the common areas.


John Bridgeman current Master of the Company, thanking all those who work for their cause – our cause; the promotion of woodturning.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Back at Bentley on Sunday - Super Mario brothers -  Elena Dragan and family from Romania.

I met the two boys both called Mario on Sunday morning and we discussed tools of course.

Their huge adzes far from being cheap in Romania were around £350. Made my ones sound cheap!

I took these pictures with a view to making one next time I am near a forge (and a suitable piece of metal). It looked mainly from one piece, the socket being bent through 90 degrees and then welded.


The side axe was perhaps a little overly hirsute.

Clearly the socket was MIG or stick welded.

Big offset on the handle!

It was a pity I did not have the time to watch them use their tools.