I write occasional daft emails to fellow members of my woodturning club.  As we get new members, some of them are stupid enough to ask me for some of the older emails.  As time passes and the read them, they will learn never to ask again - but meanwhile I have to dig into my email archives and find old items and then send them one by one to the unlucky recipients.

You would think they would find more useful things to do with their lives than read the sad wittering's of this old fool and try to make something of their lives - but no!  Any that appear here will do so in reverse order, there are many reasons for this, but logic is the main driver.  If there is one thing I have - it is logic.  Not much else to be fair - but I do have logic.

I have only recently worked out how to put the pictures in, so many are still missing.  I will continue to work on it.

70 - Kennet Valley Woodturners do not have Corona virus!

Greetings my woodturning buddys


It’s almost March, and I’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic fear of giants. Fee-Fi-Fo-bia

Squeezing into the last day of the month this Saturday is our January Saturday workshop – hopefully we will see you there. We will be looking at skew work with the production of some drawer knobs, and also looking at our full set of Hampshire Sheen products. It is the last weekend of the month due to the computer club booking last weekend. Also this weekend I will be going to Axminster in Basingstoke on Saturday afternoon to see Martin Saban-Smith demonstrating. He is there all day – but we have the workshop in the morning of course.


A big thanks are due to a lot of people who turned up - two weeks back, what an AGM that was!! Over 60 people there – more than two-thirds of our membership. Thank you everybody – I think that shows a strong membership which I am proud to be associated with.


I bought some Armageddon cheese today, and it said on the packet. 'Best Before End'


Anyhoooo – what have we to discuss?


  • Hotfoot back from Berkshire Woodturners Association

  • First committee meeting with our new committee members

  • Completion of our Hampshire Sheen club affiliation process

  • Next Month’s Demonstrator Greg Moreton

  • Follow up on our competition discussion

  • Anyone for a cup?

  • Other news


Hotfoot back from Berkshire Woodturners Association

As you know we are investigating video equipment, and it was suggested that I visit the Berkshire Woodturning association to see what they use and how good it is. On top of that it is always good to go and see how other clubs function and make new friends. So I found a translator to help me and went along there last week.


First impressions of the club, near Bracknell, were very good. The place was full of friendly and polite people, (and Harvey. 😊 )


These good impressions were reinforced throughout the evening and I had a really enjoyable time, perhaps helped by me not having to set anything up, set out chairs and tables and remember to take the milk biscuits and cups!!


I met and talked to the chairman, Brian Attewell who is a grand chap and founder member of the club. I also met and talked to Charlie – he is their video engineer-extraordinary and in total control of the visuals which are provided by three remotely controlled cameras which feed into two large plasma TV screens. The club secretary Shirley Hayes had a nice chat with me as well – as did several other members. There were also a few of the Kennet Valley members there, they are clearly allowed out of the house more than I am!


It would appear that the evening follows much the same format as our very own; meet, chat, first half demo, tea/coffee, judging, second half, go home.


That said – there were a couple of differences. Foremost among these differences is the provision of Jaffa cakes with the half time tea. Jaffa cakes and also many chocolate biscuits. Bribery I call it, there is no other word. Jaffa cakes! Seriously! Don’t tell Terry Buckle for goodness sake. Berkshire are obviously a rich club to afford such luxuries.

The other departure is that marking for the competition was done during the first half of the demo and a review and critique was given at half time along with the results and also the raffle draw.


It is painfully obvious that the club is well run and that a good time is had by all. Although they don’t have a Saturday workshop – they do have 15 meetings a year and have plenty of time together.


One final interesting point – they are dabbling with an online demo this year – an American lady called Cindy Drozda will demo to them using the worm wise web on 15th April. She will do the demo from her place in Colorado, for this eager set of viewers in Bracknell. All good stuff and it sounds like a really interesting experiment – I do hope it works out well for them.


I did meet the bloke there who invented crosswords, I can't remember his name, its P something T something R.


There was really only one very small negative point to the evening – we had to make our own cup of tea at half-time. That might sound a tad churlish – after all, they had Jaffa Cakes! One must bear in mind though that we enjoy simply queuing up and having a brew handed to us by scantily clad serving staff, I find the short skirts and very low cut tops that we favour add a touch of class to our half time break, even after insisting that safety comes first by making the half naked serving staff wear steel-capped high heeled Jimmy-Choo’s.


On that note I must remind Ray Brindley and Colin Cooper that it’s their turn to dress up next month.


First committee meeting with our new committee members

So we had three new volunteers to join the committee this year. We had the return of Tony Harvey, and welcomed Colin Cooper and Alan Raxby as virginal additions to our team.


The whole process of meeting to discuss the club business on the third Tuesday of each month was of course quite new to them. It was so new that they arrived without their swimming trunks for the hot tub session, this is quite important as it really does help them to relax properly after the girls have finished the massage. Colin in particular seemed a little flushed after the massage, but I am sure he will get used to it.


The room was a little crowded with 11 committee members haggling for a seat close to the champagne bar – we may have to rethink the layout slightly and move the snooker table into the next room – which we could do if we were to move the buffet against the wall.


We shall look forward to a good year with a freshened-up committee and hopefully some new ideas, some different opinions – but mainly a continuation of the shepherding of the club, it’s members and funds for the good of all. A continuation of the massages and hot tub speaks for itself.


Completion of our Hampshire Sheen club affiliation process

I have a boot full of wood, but also a box with goodies from Hampshire Sheen. We are now officially an affiliated club. Martin Saban-Smith has very kindly provided us with one of every single one of his products free of charge. There are a few reasons for this apart from his support of woodturning clubs generally.

Initially people will be able to try the products and assess their results, under guidance, perhaps on items of their own that they bring to our Saturday workshops. This is not something they could do at a supplier, or via the internet.


As we will have the full range, members will be able to try before they buy and make sure they are happy to go ahead with their planned purchase. It is allowing them to try it out before investing hard earned cash. This is already happening on Saturday with pen makers bringing pens to finish and make use of the pen-turners overcoat product.

Two people (so far) have had training from Martin on how the products should be used in order to get the very best out of them. That is Dave Goss and myself. This is important because we can show how to get the best from the products and help to guide members on their use.


As well as this we are allowed to offer a range of very useful free guides to be downloaded from our Web-site. Firstly there is an Intrinsic Colour Wheel, then a cheat sheet to show which colours work well together, and which combinations are worth avoiding, finally there is a step by step guide on applying colours. As well as all of this, most of you will know that Martin can be found on You Tube showing how all of this can be done. All of the above can be investigated on the Hampshire Sheen Website


The You Tube channel can be viewed here.


His personal woodturning channel with instructional videos is here.


One of my personal favourites (and I have held this item) is a coloured bowl with a glass-like finish, see it here.


Thank you Martin!


As you know I see Martin every week. I told him last Tuesday that I'd opened a small local theatre. He said, "Are you having me on?"

I said, "Well I'll give you an audition, but I'm not promising you anything."


Next month – Greg Moreton March 10th

March sees the return of Greg Moreton. March for goodness sake! What happened to January and February – they have gone by in a flash.


Greg is one of the most imaginative woodturners we know, and always welcome at the club with one of his amazing creations. The tubes he produced for us last time blew us away, and I am pretty sure whatever he does for us in a few weeks will be equally as much fun to watch.


Greg is very picky when it comes to how he will treat each piece of timber he turns in order to make the most of the figure in the wood, most of which is ecologically sourced. Greg does not like waste, he grew a beard in 1972 and it is still in use today. He keeps it in a glass of water by the bed to keep it fresh.


I looked Greg up on Google in the internet. One of these pictures looks like Greg, but I also notice that there is one that looks suspiciously like Gary Rance for some reason (easily spotted as he loves a white frock).


As well as the stars like Gary Rance and John Boyne-Aitken, Greg is one of those must-see demonstrators we are lucky to be able to present. Don’t miss it!


Follow up on our competition discussion

One thing that did come up at our inaugural 2020 committee discussion was a follow up on the comments from the AGM about competition judging. We were disturbed to hear that people were reluctant to enter the monthly competition due to the high standard of some of the pieces – specifically in the Novice class I this case.


We are determined to make sure we elevate people into the correct sector, whether it be beginner, intermediate or advanced, but we do need to ensure they are moved for the right reason. On top of this let us not forget that every piece that is put in will gain a point just for the fact that someone has entered something.


Another thing to remember is that the simple act of making something for the competition shows that turning skills are being used and therefore practiced and therefore ultimately there will naturally be continuous improvement. In the past I have put some pretty agricultural items into competitions (and many say I still do) but I did them nonetheless and as with all things in life – the more you do things the better you get – so please everybody – don’t stop.


We will do our best to make sure people are in the correct grade - but someone who really is a beginner but also is lucky enough to be talented from the very start will always begin their journey as a novice. If we choose to bring them up into intermediate early – then so be it, and we will monitor.


Anyone for a cup?

We are thinking of getting some KVWT cups done – but only if there is any interest. Let me know by reply to this email if you think you might buy one if we got them. We would expect them to cost under £3 and have our logo on them.


If you bring them to club events it would be a further saving on paper cups.

Let me know!


Also remember we can do club polo shirts and sweaters as well as club badgers to sew on your smocks.


Other news

Don’t forget it is time for membership – same price as last year – and the membership is now due for the 2020 year. A lot of people renewed at the AGM – thank you to those people.


Also don’t forget that we are having membership forms re-signed. Look out for yours at the next club meet – whether it be a Saturday or a Tuesday.


As you all know we meet in Padworth – have you ever wondered about its history?

Padworth, an undisputed Jewel in Hampshire’s crown. First mentioned in the Doomsday book where it is recorded as a settlement of some 200-odd people - which is possibly a bit judgemental.


The name Padworth is first mentioned when William The Conqueror commissioned the Domesday Book, where it's listed as a settlement with a population of some 200 odd people, but the Norman's could be a bit judgemental.


Padworth’s early prosperity was based on the production of wool. Sheep were raised locally, and their wool was cleaned by being beaten with a mixture of water and clay by large wooden hammers driven by water mills. Later, in a more enlightened age, it was decided to shear them first.


Padworth's first hospital was founded in the early 13th century, and dedicated to St. John The Baptist. However, medical treatment was crude in the extreme, and amputations were performed using a large blunt axe...or a sharp one if you went private. The hospital of St. John The Baptist saw its ultimate test with the Black Death of 1347 which left Padworth decimated. "'Tis a sight to vex the spirit. Them the Lord hath spared do move with hollow cheeks and eyes that are sunken into their sockets. Broken are they that despair in the pity of their existence. A stillness most dreadful and ghostly doth cloak the whole town with all." but other than those comments, the RAC Guide gives it two rosettes.


1657 saw the Padworth witch trials, where a woman called Goody Turner was found guilty of practising witchcraft. After surviving a ducking in the pond, an angry mob then tried to burn her at the stake, but she was too damp, and kept going out. The family of Sarah, Duchess of York, came from the nearby village of Dummer, which is presumably why she's constantly referred to as one of the Dummer Fergusons.


For Sale

Brian Giles has a new lathe and is selling his old one. (See Web site for details and the club notice board). IT is a Record Power CL4 Variable speed lathe on a stand with bowl attachment. A Super Nova Chuck – three sets of jaws, drive centre, another chuck, mini chuck with 4 sets of jaws, and other bits besides. Contact Brian on 0118 9700573 or 07775947084


…and finally


Remember chaps, you have to remember all the trivia that your wife tells you, because eventually you get tested. She'll go: "What's my favourite flower?"


Dave Goss got caught by this last week, apparently it isn’t Self-raising!


OK enough, Matron says I have to stop this and take my medication.


See you Saturday!!

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