Laying the foundations and a special guest

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 A lot of work in the early stages has gone into preparing a work space at Walter’s Tools HQ. The site was previously occupied by a static caravan and a rather unreliably tumble down Dutch barn. The static has now been towed out and has happily become the project brew room and office.

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The Dutch Barn has come down, the ground cleared….

Greta woodchip

A lovely new wood chip floor has been laid thanks to a kind donation of wood chip by Ambleside Tree Services.

We were also very lucky to have a curatorial assistant from the Museum of English Rural Life, Greta Bertram (above right), come for a couple of days to help out. She had originally offered her services to advise on the catalogue, which she did, but so enamoured was she with the landscape and getting her hands dirty that she spent a lot more time shoveling wood chip and enjoyed it immensely. We are very grateful to Greta, and to MERL for sparing her for a couple of days. And also for her fine recommendation of a tools ‘bible’ – Salaman’s Dictionary of Woodworking Tools. Greta’s account of her time with us can be read here.

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 We are also very grateful to Orri Hjaltason, our resident Icelandic can-do person, and chair maker Paul Girling, for their sterling efforts making a shelter that would withstand the March winds (and potential winds over the course of the project). This took three attempts but now we have a sturdy and handsome structure that will serve The Woodmanship Trust for years to come.

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 Volunteer days are underway, with the help of blacksmith Shaun Bainbridge, and a good time is being had by all. There is a great diversity of talents – a fair few tool nuts, a writer, a photographer, and the man who sold Walter a good deal of his tools in the first place! Tales and reflections from the volunteers and the workdays will appear on this blog as the project progresses.

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