My friend Terry and I attended the Bodgers Ball in Nottingham England a couple of weeks ago. Bodgers are the guys who go into the woods and turn chair legs with spring pole lathes.
While this doesn’t have a lot to do with the Barnsley table, we did stop and see the original table in Cheltenham, but not before we headed to High Wycombe which is north of London a short drive. High Wycombe was the center of chairmaking around the turn of the 20th century turning out upwords of 4700 chairs per day. We had also wanted to stop in to see Stuart Lindford’s shop there, but sadly they are out of business. Lindford was the last chairmaking shop in High Wycombe but is no more. I did get a shot of the bodger on the door, which I may try to duplicate.
They did have a fine museum there though and most of the museums we went to were free. Restaurants were scarce in High Wycombe, so we ate in Marlow on the River Thames.
The next day we went to Oxford, but didn’t see much except a lot of traffic. On the way we stopped at my favorite brewery, Wychwood which is owned by Prince Charles. I got an 8 pack of delicious porter to to lug home.
We stopped in Cheltenham which has a museum showing the Barnsley Table. They also have a collection of many other arts and crafts pieces that are well worth the stop. Here is a some shots of the original table. I had seen it before, but I am glad that I stopped again, as there were some minor differences to what I had remembered.
There are many other incredible pieces including this chest, the corner of a wonderful settee and finally a carved chair.
Next a stop in Worcester, to see Peter and Patrica Hindl of Ashem tools who make the wonderful trapping planes and rounders. They didn’t know we were coming but when we introduced ourselves, they invited us in for a four hour visit including two sets of tea. Peter was just about to do an aluminum casting so we watched and it was extremely interesting. Terry especially liked it as he is in the aluminum tank business.
Peter showed us his prize Austin Healy that he used to date his now wife so many years ago. It was amazing how welcome this couple made a pair of lost Americans feel.
After driving in the rain to Nottingham we found our B and B which was a farmhouse. Here is the bridge across their driveway along with a great oil burning kitchen stove.
Next, some pictures from the Bodger’s Ball itself.