Saturday, 30 September 2017

Friday 29th September 
My First visit to the community garden at Brockwell Park London SE24 9BJ

Paul Shrubshall has started a green woodworking group at this site where he has been volunteering.


I thought it would be advisable to use public transport, I do not enjoy the London traffic or the congestion charge although I could escape the latter.


This is the stunning  view from Blackfriars station from inside the train.

After a very pleasant walk up the hill the community garden area.

The bodging area in the trees.


The honey suppliers.

This greenhouse was full of peppers. I did see some pepper jam in the kitchen area.
The previous evening they had a dinner party in here.


The themed greenhouse – now in its ginger mode. They were growing allsorts, tamarind, ginger

Galangal and lots of related plants.
Before this they were growing tea!

The raised areas were in a rotation - lots of information boards which really helped to know what the plan was and what they were growing.
There was a group of corporate volunteers in the corner constructing the floor to a café project next to the huge cob oven.

The man himself Paul Shrubshall – who is looking forward to meeting anyone who is interested in being part of this new group.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Friday 22nd September Called in at Haynes Trucks in Ashford to organise van MOT. 

This was first time that I went on line first to have a look at reviews before making a decision. Both main dealers (IVECO) nearer to me in London had rubbish reviews. Since I was going to Kent I tried this one with good reviews and I now know why, they were helpful, friendly and did not charge me for the computer diagnostic.

The Halfway House at Brenchley was the logical choice to stay at overnight.

Where else really? – Their regular 14 beers (one cider) straight from the barrel. Good food as always.

They have some interesting decorations around the bar.

The flat spacious car park makes this a great overnight venue. I have yet to be refused camping rights.

White Chimney Wood Benenden Kent 23/24th September.

This was the last weekend for the Kent group meeting at John’s place this year although that may change as he is improving the top access path. 


Where to start? So much going on.

Harry getting a few tips about needle felting and spinning from Carol and Wendy

Didn’t take too long to get the hang of it and make this hare – I wonder where he is going to put it?

Clau was having fun on the shave horse, not to sure what she was making but the small Flexicut draw knife she borrowed was given a road test.

Mark Fenn not only makes bowls but smoked salmon – adding to feast we shared at the weekend.


Jeremy making another interesting bowl.


When not the lathe he is in the kitchen making probably everything but here we have some rye bread – excellent stuff.

Richard in the naughty boy’s corner.


Keith giving the roof a few shingles.

Damien up a creek making paddles.


Since I spent most of the weekend borrowing tools from the Bardster tool shop I thought I must show you these – everything comes around? Note the handles around the axe blades (I wonder what era that idea came from – should ask Damien).

Bardster shingling with full use of Li-ion power.


Missionary Mike (Uganda) Gordon showing off his holiday pictures.


Well, what next is skittles for Alpacca alley?


Harry making plant holder materials for some impromptu basket work.

This was the busiest I have ever seen it. New faces everywhere ; probably due to Belmont Wood Fair a couple of weeks ago. Jocelyn Gregory not making a hurdle!

The witches of the Kent coven? not normally seen in daylight.

The irrepressible string maker Nancy adding to her Sami style tool belt.

What a great weekend - fabulous weather as well. Many thanks to John Burbage for his hospitality.

Looking forward to their next meeting, if your interested contact Phill.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Abney Park Cemetery Thursday 21st September

I have not been here for some time and things have changed a great deal.  They have relocated to the other side of the entrance and have nicely enclosed external workshop.


Jo was holding a basic knife skills session.


One of ladies on the course had this pole lathed doll.

Weny - one of the regular ladies adzing a bowl – we shared notes on that.

Julian was making protective cases for their tools (which were funded by the WCT) and making an excellent job of it.

Really good to visit and the parking was easy (for a London based venue). Jo was doing a great job with her students.  I was also able to pick up some massive holly logs thanks to Jo Wyatt (from my woodturning club) and John the tree surgeon.

Check out the Abney Park website or contact Jo -  for updates on forthcoming workshops and access after that.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Receiving the Freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall Wednesday 20th September


This bronze was outside the North Wing of the Guildhall, where I was meeting my youngest son Sam.


The aforementioned Sam who works not too far away in Hatton Garden diamond setting


The whole experience was not at all what I was expecting – they were so friendly and relaxed. 

Afterwards they spent some quality time with us 
giving a short but interesting history lesson. The room was full of treasures.

The surrender sword given to Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

The Freeman certificate and its solid silver case given to Margret Thatcher.

The valuable freeman certificates were always accompanied by a container.

The ones in the middle were small turned boxes.

A wall of certificates from the rich and famous.

The one in the gold frame was Horatio Nelson’s.

I missed the pictures of Stephen Hawkin who received an honorary freeman ship.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Making another leather case commission in Wanstead  15th September

Picked up this from Belmont Wood Show last weekend. The gentleman had a large private collection of tools on display. I had to make a plywood copy of the axe first, makes life easier in the long run. Note the knots in the thong, making it impossible to lose the ends individually.

Fairlop Wood turners Thursday 14th September Station Road Chingford E4 7EG

We have just lost our venue after 13 years! and are now in temporary accommodation at a workshop that belongs to one of our members John Bold.

Our demonstrator was Phil Jones, never seen him before this evening.

It was nice and cosy, we all felt very relaxed and there was plenty of banter.

Hopefully we can get another permanent venue organised soon. 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Belmont Wood Fair 9/10th September ME13 0HH


I was greeted on arrival with this from the Leonard chuck wagon.

Home made tea, cakes and even the cosy.
Real tea leaves in a pot poured through a strainer.
Thanks to Keith and Carol. 
The picture is not Keith its Carol.

Plenty of static engines demonstrating all sorts of old processes.


John Burbage making stool legs with Graham Aslett pretending to be busy making rakes.


Our Kent leader making another ladder from chestnut. He is beginning to make it look easy – always a dangerous sign.

I’ve been Swanned!

Jill paid me back for an incident at Wakehurst place earlier in the year when I just happened to accidentely on purpose leave a pile of Hobgoblin cans under her van.

Class act – Damien Goodburn showing us all how it was actually done using the correct tools, not a cheat in sight. 


So this new event is in its third year. I thought the visitor numbers were down on last year which is a little worrying but we are not giving up just yet. I managed to get a few leather based orders so I was happy.