Monday, 18 December 2017

Sunday 17th December Wimpole Lathers Christmas Barbeque

It has been some time - February I think since I last visited this group. However I have been to David Owen's house where they have a bodgers workshop for midweek meetings.


The range of food was interesting as usual even though some of the key providers were absent.

This was my baked Camembert with onion chutney.

Home made brownies from a very brave lady making deliveries by bike!


The built in hot air stove in the main workshop made a great cooking range.

It turned out to be a cold drizzle of a day in Cambridgeshire but this did not detract from the enjoyment of this social gathering.

Lots of old faces absent this time so I will say my seasons greetings here to Simon, David, Tom, Alistair and anyone else I have missed (or forgotten the name of – which is more likely).

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Friday 8th December Temple Avenue Allotments Dagenham

Our woodturning club is relocating from its school base that it has enjoyed the benefits from since 2004. We have just placed a 20' shipping container in a very convenient place next to the club room and kitchen. Next week we are collecting all our lathes and equipment to put in this secure store.


The delivery lorry was fitted with a long reach Hiab crane.

All very hi tech these days – the driver controls the whole operation with a remote control. 

The front stabilizers were massive.

Our chairman was making a video; hopefully he will put it on our website -


Finally in place with great precision. This was the relatively  easy bit – the organisation for it took some time and had its moments. 

We had planned on a 40’ container but we could not get it placed. Controlling the parking was testing – the police are not interested and the local authority have a 10 day response time. We canvassed the local residents and put notices on the lamp stands as well as patrolling the pinch points for the hours preceding delivery.

Next week tool pickup from our old venue.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Stock acquisition trip to Sussex Sunday 03-12-17

Playster’s Farm Hertmoncaux

A social call to Richard Bingham. Amongst many hand made things in his house and workshop was this pretty wooden grinding jig for wood turning gouges caught my eye.

He also showed me a drawknife that someone had made him – I don’t know why I never took a picture.

I had a tour of the garden area – there were many interesting thing to see but I was surprised to see a golden eagle!

He gives a home to a birds of prey display company.

I then visited my antlerman on the south coast to pick up some tips for necklaces. Apparently antler is getting much more difficult to source and the price is being forced up by dog chew companies.

Swan Inn Dalington TN21 9LB


Top of my pub list to date!
Stayed over in their car park which has just ben upgraded.
Great food and Harvey’s.

Monday 4th Sissinghurst Estate

Called in to pick up a Robina that Dave Dunk took down to make way for a fence. Also some dry Iroko that was part of a grain drying floor. Waste not want...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Visit to the blacksmithing class in Forest Gate Monday 13th November – behind the Learning Zone under the railway arches.

I had an adze to reshape for David Owen and popped back to use their resources and to touch base as I may return next term.

The class now does three sessions a week Monday afternoon, evening and a Tuesday evening.
It was dropped by the LA and is now run as a club. £200 a term for 10 x 3hour sessions.

Alan Chadbourn the founder, was making auger bits. Amazing!

 The British Pet show and Festive Market Newbury RG18 9NU 11/12th November

I had some good company in Chris Allen.

Loved his display and he gave me some very good advice as to what I should do with mine – some of which I changed there and then! certainly attracted more interest and sales.


There were some very interesting animals – this armadillo, they have a strange walk – very upright, the hairs trigger their classic protective ball reflex.

Oh the donkies – so sweet. The owner had one that lived to 65!

I was invited to their weekend next year - 

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary May 26/7 2018
Country Show
Brightwell cum Sotwell, 
Wallingford OXO10 0SW

hopefully it will not clash with Wakehurst place.

Thought of Phill Piddle – these people have over 700 Alpacas on their wool farm.

An interesting weekend, and was very glad to be under cover.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Monday 6th November Norfolk Trip 

Overnight at The White Horse Upton Dyke

My father used to cycle here! My solicitor bought a share in this pub along with another friend of mine but sold a couple of years ago to the local community who now run it and an adjacent shop.

Tuesday 7th November Ranworth
Breakfast at Ranworth broad

I used to bring parties of schoolchildren here sailing in the early 70’s.

I also came with a group from my rugby club


Have had many meal in here over the years!


My main purpose of this trip was to pick up Joyce Jones, one of our members  who wanted to donate her green wood working tools to the APTGW.
She lives in a beautiful house in Ashmanhaugh. Her husband was an organ pipe maker and there were miniature pipes on display as well as many other beautiful things he had made.

Joyce has made hurdles and small rakes, they were very interesting – good for raking flower beds.


I happened purely by chance to pass Woodford’s Brewery – local to Upton They have their own pub next door.

Next stop Eric and Christine Rogers to collect items for the Red Cross Christmas fayre. Eric has kindly donated about 100 spoons! And a stool…
Lunch of home made soup – excellent .
Beautiful garden with apple trees grown from seed!  His garden Workshop was very similar to Stuart King’s. Has some great examples of treen collected from all over.

Next stop to Harriet and Tilly at Bridgham


Harriet has set up a metal working shed and was just about to cut a screw thread on her Myford Super Seven lathe she bought new from Buck & Ryan, many years ago.

She was also making her own rebate plane iron.

Harriet is after some pit saw files – half round and single cut, if you know of a source or have one (or many) get in touch.

Down to Cambridge

I called into The Chequers at Orwell (Wimpole local pub) en route to David Owen’s for dinner. Well known for spectacular food (not on Tuesdays however!) Another great local brew to try.

I also met some interesting local characters. One of them runs a celebrity death club sweep-stake, they pay £1 a week until one of the named celebrities dies and they get 75% of the pot which can be over £1,000! Morbid but fun I guess.

On to Harston and Dinner with David Owen

And his family + members of the Wimpole Lathers. Andrew – a cabinet maker / chair maker,  Jim bowl maker but now also now into chair production,  he made a totally Elm chair 3 weeks from felling. I was sitting on David’s first chair – wish I had made it. I hope he puts it into the ball competition.

Elspeth’s needle felted animals are impressive.

Thanks to Andrew or his wife for the iced ginger cake and of course to David and family for their hospitality.

That was a long day!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Sunday 23rd October at a Leatherworking day with the Kent group at Iden Green Kent


Dave Dunk sewing new leather bellows components together. 

He has recently acquired a forge and will be dabbling with the dark arts and charcoal before long I expect.


Harry Rogers giving advice to one of the many budding sheath makers.


Keith was experimenting with Phill Piddell’s leather punches making patterns.

Barster was giving a master class in sewing I think – as you can see this event was very well attended, not surprising since it was a nice cosy working environment.


When he was not helping people, Harry was busy working on of his high quality belts.

I took this version of my stitching pony to see if it could be useful for the next leather day which is about making beer tankards. I made this some time ago as I was working my way through ‘The Art of Hand Sewing Leather' by Al Stohlman. I am amazed that so many beginners have not heard of it.

Thanks to Phill and John Burbage for organising the event.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Monday 16th Side trip to Sandwich – a medieval town on the Kent coast

I had time to kill whilst my van was getting an MOT.

Many old buildings and a really interesting layout. Worth another, much longer visit.

I finished off my trip with a visit to The Crown Inn Sarre  - a well known cherry brandy house to pick up a bottle.

Without my van my last leg was by train Ashford to Stratford in 38 minutes at 140 MPH!
Standen Road Applefest at Iden Green Kent Sunday 15th October

This was a PR exercise organised By Phill Piddle who was supposed to be there. Mind you, he was visiting Brogdale Apple fest earlier in the day as I promised to leave him some cider.
This was the local ukulele group – their singing was entertaining.

Jeremy Cox and daughter were also in attendance making spoons from Applewood. I was busy making holes in a large piece of holly and a few wands. 

Brogdale Apple Festival Faversham Kent 14th October

I have never been before, but have fancied demonstrating at some different types of events. Fortunately this trip bore fruit! So next year I will be there for both days.

This lady was giving a good demonstration of all the gear you need to make your own apple juice or cider.

They were also selling Wooly Pig cider. I tasted everything – it was forced upon me! But their own dry cider was by far the best.

The names comes from feeding the pressed fruit to pigs!


As you would expect at am apple fest – loads of different varieties. A figure of 1000 different varieties was mentioned!


Having read Wildwood by Roger Deakin (a must read if you haven’t) – the one thing I do know about apples is that they all originated from one place - the Tien Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan.
Somewhere I hope to visit next year maybe.


As with most events the food and drink vendors were having a good time. This one caught my eye.       A bar inside a VW microbus; sounds as if it could be a line from a Woody Guthrie song.

Brogdale has events all year round - checkout their website.

On the way down to the Apple festival at Brogdale I found this gem in Selling.

The Rose & Crown Faversham ME13 9RY

Big car park which is also the entrance to Perry Wood.

It also has my two favourites – Adnams and Harvey’s.Great food too


Arrived just in time to collect chestnuts off the floor and trees.

This was in the bar – can anyone identify what he has strung round his shoulder? – must be something to do with hop production.

I want to live in this house; opposite the pub!

Check out the website for some great pictures - like this one.

It also has good parking and the locals are friendly.

Thursday 12th October Fairlop Woodturners off the High Road in Chingford

We have lost our school venue and are in temporary accommodation - an engineering workshop in Chingford owned by one of our members.

Martin Saban – Smith was our demonstrator. Check out his YouTube channel.


One of our new members Ligla Rodrigues with the finished piece.

We are in discussions with a group that runs a community garden / allotment project in Dagenham our new (hopefully) venue and should have a decision one way or another in a months’ time.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

October 7/8th Autumn Countryside Show – at the Weald & Downland Museum Singleton Sussex


Andrew Coleman with special forked pole supports that he acquired from Bob Thomas at the ball. Apparently there  was a pile of them.


Don’t often see forks – this one owned by Adam Leake that he got at Spoonfest this year. That blue handle does however look like Amy’s work.

I was borrowing some fire for my tandoori chicken from Steve Wright who was using a cordless leaf blower to fan the fire!



Mike Church and his friend were baking using this impressive setup.

More of his famous cherry cakes were in production, warm cake straight from the oven – yum!

I was set up next to this gentleman who Sue Reeve signed up for membership there and then.

So welcome to Andrew Byham – our latest member.

I am not sure as to the significance of this gentleman – maybe just a scarecrow. Reminiscent of the Motts Mill competition seen on this blog.


I wonder if he trains sheep as well.


Good to see Nancy – time off from witching to make cordage.


Yet another bowyer – this time with some throwing arrows. I believe he is the chairman of the Sussex coppice group.

Another great Autumn Show. The plan is to hold our Bodger's Ball here next May