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The Windsors and The Woodsmen

June 29, 2012

As Monday 4th  June  dawned with leaden skies, heavy rain and the collective mud from several days of precipitation underfoot, one could have been mistaken for thinking that the much anticipated first event of the season, ‘The Surrey County Show’, with it’s whispered about Royal visit was going to be a washout.

But the spirit of the woodsman prevailed, and as one by one each exhibitor arrived  and pitched their stalls in the increasing wind and constant rain. Those present were Roger Day with his amazing pole lathe, Leo with his pole lathe, Darren making his stick chairs and tables, Ian Baldwin with his Octo-kiln, James from Surrey Hills Woodfuels, Meike making her woody stick pencils, Ben with a lethal looking adze and beautiful chairs, Connor and Dawn Fielding with the Lower Mole Project, Carl and Cat Armstrong with wooden hearts and willow products, John Sinclair with his Tent Pegs and lots of banter and a lovely new coat, Graham Copland-Cale with his Birch and Hazel and animals and Nick Owen re-handling tools. It seemed all would be fine. ………that is all apart from the hole!

That is the 2ft x 2ft hole in the middle of our small area, in just the right place for many a twisted ankle and perhaps a fallen dignitary or two.

As happens in these cases the was much rubbing of chins and scratching of heads before the final solution was found. To the rescue came the talented Roger Day who installed the very beautiful ‘Spirit of Spring’ on a makeshift plinth ( a box unearthed from John Sinclair’s Landy) covered in hessian .

As the morning progressed the rain stopped, and the cloud broke, by 9am the public were milling around and already showing an interest. As usual the kettle was on at base camp and the frying pan seemed to be in constant use

As the  morning continued, with group members stands laden with goods, and demonstrations taking place there were many quotes from the public of  “oh my Grandfather used to do that” and admiration for the skills on show.

At around 11.45am with an influx of photographers and high viz  jackets the Royal Visit was upon us.  First came the Countess of Wessex managing to walk in heels on the soggy ground, who spent quite a while looking around

and chatting. She was then joined by the Earl who was shown around by John Sinclair. Although only expected to spend a short time with the group, they were interested enough to spend more time and talk to most of the group.

All in all a good day was had by everyone. Lots of people actually trying to understand what the group was all about. and great PR for the coppice industry as whole.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gemma permalink
    July 3, 2012 8:38 am

    Great photos!! Sounds like it was a brilliant day, and well done for the resourcefulness of your chin scratching!! 🙂

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