Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Anchor Faversham 20th July / Ferry Inn Stone

On the way to meet Jill Swan for lunch I called in for a starter – a Scotch egg.  This is no ordinary bought in rubbish. Home made with a ducks egg – sublime is no overstatement. Good local beer too!

Met Jill Swan at the Duck Inn Pets Bottom Road Canterbury. Good lunch, baked brie and smoked haddock. Good food, beer and of course very entertaining company – thanks Jill (sorry I forgot the batteries).

Later on at the CAMRA beer festival Merton’s farm.

I have been to a couple of CAMRA beer festivals and actually do not enjoy lots of different beers, I find one and then stick to it. This venue has character – enormous cattle shed (also smelt of cattle).
The food was so much better than I was expecting, such a pleasant surprise. Plenty of interesting company, I felt that I could have sat and talked to anyone – a really friendly chilled out group of drinkers.

Think I will go again next year!

21st July Little Singleton Oast, Great Chart, Ashford TN26 1JS
Called in to Ed Olivers Woodturning to buy some ebonising spray. What an interesting man; he had loads of interesting piles of wood.

Later on I found myself at the Ferry Inn at Stone

I took a wrong turn and drove past this gem of a pub to die for (you would have to put this on your bucket list).

An interesting piece of decoration. I had never seen Char-a-banc written before.

This over-window fascia I have not seen before. 

My starter were these Rye scallops, fat and juicy. The local cod and lard fried chips were also sensational.

It was a gorgeous sunny lunchtime, they have a garden next to the canal at the back. I think  you would have to book to get in for an evening meal.

This beautiful Morgan arrived just as I was leaving


Called in to the Merry Harriers Cowbeach to meet up with Mike Church for a pint or two of Harvey’s and food.


Dropped in on Phill en route to Burbage Towers. Whilst I was at Nancy’s recently I saw her home-made alpacca duvet so that inspired me to make my own to.
So a visit to a local alpacca dealer was on!


Phill and Bardster have been busy making beer mugs in leather. I was seriously impressed with these!
My next project maybe.

There is no stopping this man – a chestnut garden swing. Phill is very busy creating all manner of stuff for a forthcoming event.

I eventually made it to Burbage Towers, always a pleasure to see John, such a nice generous man – with all things.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

St Albans Country show AL4 0RE 15/6th July

This was my second outing with the organizers (Framlingham Country Show being the first).
A much smaller event but was well organised and very friendly and helpful staff.
The weather was not kind and early Saturday drizzle kept the numbers down. Sunday was better.
Unfortunately I was sighted next to a chainsaw carver which made it impossible to talk to anyone for long periods. The female carver was however a lovely lady and very good (and well respected amongst the APF).


Happily Robin Fawcett and Vanessa were 2 tents away (Mike Church being next door).
They both  saved my weekend!  Always a pleasure to get together – do not see the Fawcetts  enough, I need to make more of an effort.


Robin inspired my green woodworking after a chance encounter in Lee Valley Park a week before my first Ball - Horton Cum Studley.

Robin had to revert to a power lathe as back problems stopped his pole lathe activities.

This Polish gentleman was showing us his marquetry skills; he was a joiner working in Hemel Hempstead and made beautiful boxes.
I invited him to our next Ball with some of his work. Hopefully we can all meet him and enjoy his craft.


Had a great Bangladeshi meal on Saturday – I found some interesting plumbing (no musical instruments or classy artwork – however definitely a specialty from the sub continent!)  

Mike brought some goodies from his allotment – peas and carrots.

And of course the famous cherry cake with brandied cherries!


Mike Church has been in Galacia (Northern Spain) with their best basket maker for a fortnight. He was experimenting with Split Chestnut baskets with Hazel rims.

At the end of the show he gave me his first  one!

These were a couple that he made during his Spanish trip. The large one is for grape collection.

All in all an enjoyable weekend, it was not a woody event - too much imported stuff.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Monday 10th July Leather working at home

Jo Wyatt is one of the Fairlop wood turners who is on a blacksmithing course a mile from my house.

He has been for a lesson or two in leather case making. This was his first case. I was amazed how good his stitching was (must be younger eyes).

The handle was similar to the one that Eric Rogers gave me some time ago.

The Flower Pot 96 Sandling Rd, Maidstone ME14 2RJ

Stopped off at The Flower Pot in Maidstone en route to the Kent Show. Parking could be difficult but worth it. Loads of beer options and the menu was deceptive – it did not inspire but the food was very well done.

The staff was brilliant and genuinely interested in their beer. Must go back next time I am passing.

Kent County Show 7/8/9th July Detling Kent ME14 3JF

This was my first time at this show with several bodgers, Amy Leake, Mike Church, Mark Sidders with Steve Wrights’ chainsaw crew. They were en route to a huge Cherry tree that had blown down, bit of a windfall really!


Mike Church was not selling much so had plenty of time to make trugs.

Amy on the bowl lathe, fortunately it did not rain and the trees gave her plenty of shade – just as well since she left her shelter poles behind.


Steve Wright had plenty of interesting stuff for sale.

This stick maker has been attending for 33years!

This carver had his work cut out on this large commission.

Well this was a massive show and not the sort of event I normally go to. The main area was really an outdoor shopping centre. Thankfully we were all in the woods which gave us plenty of shade from the scorching sun. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Monday 3rd July – a great day out in town at Skinners Hall with the worshipful company of turners

They made me a freeman of the company.

Post ceremony photoshoot with the Master Andrew Neill.

Left to right -

Joanna Varella, David Batchelor (Upper Warden), Andrew Neill (Master), Vanessa Swan (Cockpit Arts) Peter Ellis (past Master).

We walked to the Guildhall with the company clerk Alex Robertson to apply for the freedom of the city.

The ship and sword were on loan from the worshipful company of Cutlers.

It took me a few seconds to work out the significance of the stuffed sheep (bottom right) next to the declaration!

One of the waiting areas at the Guildhall had many interesting wall hangings and display cabinets.

I spotted this which reminded me of a joinery job I worked on (handrail to a spiral staircase) at the house of the present Nelson family in London. We were given one drink every day at 3.00pm served on a silver tray.

The inscription reads – the ensign of Horatio Viscount Nelson.

After the formalities we were given lunch back at Skinner's Hall. The food, the venue, the excellent company – it was a great occasion hopefully I will never forget.

I wish to thank the Master for making us so welcome and I look forward to a long and fruitful future serving the company.