Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Sunday 25th June   Gunton Park Mill NR11 7HN White Post Road.


This water powered mill is only open six days a year for visitors.
This is the reservoir fed from a local river and discharged back into it.


The two sluices that fed the water wheels.

The logs are chained to the sliding table into the path of the reciprocating blade. Although they were using only one blade the setup was for multiple blades.

The last few cuts and the plank is free.

View from above.

Plumb bobs - they are used to align the log to the saw blade.

The recently refurbished building had a new reed roof (well it is Norfolk and the broads are not too far away).

An interesting pattern on the inside and it was difficult to see how it was all held in position.

The log was progressed on the downward stroke of the blade which was set at an angle so on the upward stroke the shaving were ejected hence the unusual rippled pattern on the cut planks.

External view with the reed roof also showing the loading / unloading crane.

A very interesting visit, check out their website for more details. This was built during a time of great change. It was not long before the whole thing was obsolete and replaced by a steam engine.

Heritage Skills Festival at Lincoln Cathedral 22 /23rd June

En Route to Lincoln I stopped at Bracebridge heath near to the Red Arrows base. During Friday morning they flew round the Cathedral!

The nettles we covered in ladybirds and their larvae, never noticed so many before.


Not the best shot of the Cathedral.

Mike Ashton, Lee Southall and myself were demonstrating. Mike won a prize in the goblet competition at Wizardry in Wood; I wonder why?

He was demonstrating goblet making!

Reminiscent of the log to leg race with Peter and Bernard on the same pole lathe.

The Mistress of the worshipful company manning the desk.

I was in good company with Andrew Neill the Master, Chris Scotts new chairman of the Howe, John Aitken Chairman of the RPT, Joey Richardson( RPT) and Maggie Wright.

The Joiners and Ceilers had a love spoon maker demonstrating, it was all too busy and I did not have the time to talk to him. 


You always meet so many interesting people at public events - Derek Hutchison (bowyers diary) d.hutchison@ntlworld.com was a longbow maker from Harlow in Essex, not too far away from me in East London. Check him out on the web.

Well, an amazing event. The organisation on the ground was impressive and the troops on the ground were great. They should hold this every year perhaps at a different cathedral each year.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Wood Show at the Weald and Downland Musuem at Singleton Sussex 17/18th June

This was that scorcher of a weekend we cannot forget.
This show is bi-annual, lots and lots of bodgers at this one.

Hubble bubble soil and trouble - The witches of Singleton, Clau and Nancy.

Rustic Ash Chairs
Gryff -  the master chair maker we saw at the Ball with the story telling chair.
Rarely have I seen anyone develop their craft quite so quickly.


Jeremy Atkinson (my personal clogmaker) paying homage to his chairman!
Always such good entertainment.
He did not enjoy the local beer, perhaps he should have stuck to the W&D cider.

A young Adam Leake on the shave horse. I think he was actually having a race with Oliver (all good practice for the Ball).

Oliver – one of our youngest pole lathe turners - what an amazing boy!

A younger  Leake with Oliver’s two cockerel chicks - Sneezy and cheep.

The Blacksmith is Martin Fox – it was so hot I cannot believe he was doing that.

His work is excellent – he needs to show it off a bit more, no perhaps a lot more!

Julian Bell is the Museum Curator – he is pretty handy hewing but on this occasion hurdle making. Thanks for the cider.

Pete Pippingal – he never stops entertaining the crowds.  Plays a mean guitar as well


Andrew Coleman (Sussex group leader) passing on his skills to his wife Karen.

Fionn Turnbull and Nancy Bertenshaw (Mike Gordon in background).
Nancy had been making string and other things from bark – it’s amazing what you can make from nettles and Willow and how string it is.

My latest setup – front tarp that saved my bacon this weekend.

Foolishly I used to the think the tarps were only rain shields!

Pete’s fruit maul – Malus, it was grafted onto a rootstock, looked like a foot from underneath.

What a great weekend, will have to wait another two years sadly. Thanks to the Museum and all their staff who made the whole thing work.  Happily we will be back in more force at the Autumn.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday 12th June Fairlop Woodturners

Gary Rance – the fastest production woodturner ever!


We had a really good crowd and loved it. He is an excellent demonstrator and so quick.

Good job we had the camera to show all the tricky bits – thread chasing.

Gary did a woodturning apprenticeship and learnt his trade long before modern grinders were invented!

With skilled hands he made it look dead simple.

What a great evening, I think everyone learnt something, I learnt lots thanks Gary.

Visit to Motts Mill to help Nancy Bertenshaw  10-06-17

I have been to her converted laundry parts of which were recently judged to be medieval! A very interesting house in an unusual setting – halfway up a hill, stunning  location.

I missed most of the day visitors since I was at an earlier APTGW meeting at the Monument.
We were all there to help sort out and clear some of her house contents.


Nancy recently made her a duvet using Alpacca wool – have got to make myself one of those! 

Two sheets sewn together with long pockets, some say no need even to wash the wool. Phill – have you got any more wool?

I managed to clear some of the beer making equipment, my eldest son Paul is just about to start brewing and was over the moon with the big starter kit – thanks Nancy.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

‘Wildwood’  Wakehurst Place 27/8/9th May

As I arrived at Wakehurst after a slow M25 journey on this bank holiday weekend, I was starving and thirsty! I stumbled upon the great local bakers in Ardingly

One of the best displays of bodged work I have seen yet. It was all very well done great design and execution.
Chris Allen’s display

It was a little strange trying to do a bit of a commentary as Mike Gordon always does it.


Well done Mike who beat his opponent Andrew Coleman (who had never done it before).

The race attracted lots of spectators – we should do this more often at events and advertise it.

I was asked to judge the log to leg race – this must be the first time I have seen it outside of the Ball.

Oak swill basketmaking.
What a treat for me, I have never met Owen Thomas but have met many of his students.
Not sure if I know the old guy in the hat however.

Met Pete Ball a very interesting basket maker using Hazel – the outer for weaving the inner for the main structural elements.

Very sweet wire haired terrier.

The dug out boats are amazing – they were attempting this at Cherry Wood on my last visit.

As if the actual structure was not pretty enough – the internal finishing and carving is truly a work of art.

My lunch courtesy of Jill Swan.

The sort of image one might find in a glossy mag.

This was my third visit to this event and without doubt the best yet. Largely due to the following – 
There were loads of public – even when the forecast wasn’t that great. The staff on the ground could not have been more helpful. The main path down to our area was very wet overnight – they re-chipped the whole thing! The management are very clear as to what they want and understand also what we need.

Thank you everyone especially all the members of the APTGW for making this so much fun.

Slough House Wood Binacre Essex


A Coll speciality? 

Rabbit jerky – Olvin Smith 

Will and Sue – bumping ideas off one another, this can seriously improve your work outcome.

Mog – another great pole lather making a
‘Nobbly thing with a long straight bit’


Stunning ladle from Sue.


and a modest  collection of treen

They are still developing crocheted tool carriers.

My simple evening meal, cooked in their new oven – roast pork, baked potatoes – thanks Nic.

Not sure anyone took pictures this year as the certificates were awarded at the Ball – so I took my own.

Sue Holden Best in Show and first non turned treen.

 Katie with her themed entry.

Thanks for the invitation Katie and great to spend a little time in your wood with your great friends Nic and Olvin, Will and Sue and Mog.