Sunday, 28 September 2008

21st Birthday

We set off early this morning and had a lovely drive to Colchester towards the misty, rising sun. The High Woods 21st Birthday Celebration was a great success. Everyone had a great time. The sun shone on us all day and there was loads of interesting things to see and do - specially for the kids who all queued up to have a little go.

This young guy was a natural . . .

Turning a spinning top

Also managed to sell quite a lot of stuff so a great day all round !

Friday, 26 September 2008

Countryside Live (London)

The last couple of years this event has been held at the Lee Valley Park showground at Waltham Abbey - quite handy for us ! Well the 2012 Olympic Canoeing events are going to be held there so we had to crawl down to Leytonstone (only 12 miles but it takes an hour). The weather was gorgeous as it was earlier in the year. I think everyone had a great time - the kids were really good.

On the stand next to ours . . .

Before the onslaught

. . . a lady was showing kids how to make these funky sheep

A beautiful acer "Senkaki" doing it's Autumn thing in our garden at the moment.

Going up to Highwood Country Park in Colchester on Sunday for their 21st Birthday event.

Saturday, 20 September 2008


I've had a bad stomach bug for nearly a week. I've spent several days in bed hardly eating. Hence no blog, nothing to say, didn't feel like looking at the computer or doing anything.

Tomorrow we're off to do an event and demonstration at Hainault Forest. It's the opening event of the month long Hainault Forest Festival and we'll be back there for a whole week later next month. Next week we're doing a Countryside Live Event with 2000 kids a day for 2 days so it's a good job I feel fit again.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Treadle lathe

- § -

Finally managed to get my treadle lathe unearthed today. . .

It's still foot powered but with the crank, flywheel and pulley it spins around the same way all the time rather than back and forth and there's quite a nice story how I came by it.

I was at the Alexandra Palace Woodwork Show and chatting to Stuart King who was demonstrating on his treadle lathe . . .

Stuart showing how to make flowers on a
treadle lathe at a craft show somewhere.

I was fascinated and asked him if I could get one ? were they still around ?

We chatted for quite a while and when I turned round to leave there was a guy standing behind me who asked if I wanted his ! ! !

The upshot was I went and picked it up from Ampthill, Bedfordshire and have had a bit of a saga with it ever since.

It was made in Luton, late 19thC apparently and was previously back-geared to work off a line-shaft - there are two headstocks, two tailstocks and toolrests - also a sliding rest for metal turning and a pillar drill attachment but there is no makers name on it anywhere. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

I'll post some more decent photos and tell you a bit more of the saga sometime in the future.


Friday, 12 September 2008

Husband & Wife

First time I've had a husband and wife on a course . . .

George & Wendy from Oxford who look as though they've had a good time ?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Old pole lathe

We've been to London today to see an old pole lathe in the Science Museum's storage depot near Olympia. I haven't got their permission to publish the photos yet but meanwhile you can see one here.

It's the best view when you get the front seat, top deck of the bus from Liverpool Street through the City, the West End, Park Lane, Knightsbridge - past the Albert Hall & Memorial to Kensington.
A nice, old slow way to travel. So much to see and observe - much better than telly !

We met Matt Jarvis who is also into greenwoodworking & Bodging (new-look Bodgers website) and together we were led through labryntine corridors and into lifts till we finally arrived at a massive roomful of very interesting looking machinery ranging from spinning wheels, mangles, lathes, looms and sewing machines. Everywhere looked very clean considering the massive size of the place. I could easily have spent the whole afternoon examining all these gizmos but we got half an hour to look at our particular lathe, take photos and measurements and there was no time to hang around.
Afterwards we walked up Kensington High Sreet had a nice cup 'o tea and a chat.

Then did the bus trip in reverse . . . only to get back to Liverpool Street at 5 to discover that our tickets weren't valid till 6.30. A New Scheme I think. Had a coffee and just hung around "people-watching".

Monday, 8 September 2008

Come in Earthlings - Over

- <> -

I've felt awful lately due to the first really bad cold for a couple of years - haven't done anything much for the last week due to feeling groggy and bunged up. Sitting reading a lot of the time - I kept telling myself that a regular intake of our honey was keeping me healthy . . . but

Anyway we went to Ness's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party and had a good laugh and a chat and wonderful food on Saturday.

Charlotte Elizabeth with her Aunty Nessa - she already looks au fait with the media gizmos.
The deadpan raspberry is quite an effective pose.

Today I've been with Andy -

Andy at last year's Scout Jamboree
demonstrating the bow lathe.

- to Hainault Forest to arrange for two Woodland Trust events we're going to run. First is a one dayer on 21st Sept and the second, in October, is for a week with schools and scouts. Looks good - more later . . .