Invited by Tim Stevenson, bodger and friend of the group (we’re borrowing his pole lathe), we turned up with Green Woodworking kit to do some work, enjoy the day and learn from some expert neighbours – Tim, Carol Stevenson and chair maker Ben Willis.

Figure 1 Setting up at the beginning of the day

We took along our pole lathe and shaving horse to partly assemble our chair and make a simple slab ash stool.

Figure 2 Ivan, Paul and Becky bodging away

We learned a huge amount by watching experts at work. Tim is a Nunhead based chair and automata maker. Carol a wood worker and painter.

Figure 3 Tim showing us how to make a baby’s rattle

Ben Willis is also a teacher and expert turner.

Figure 4 Ben showing us how to turn a very thin spindle

We’d already been learning about fitting legs and stretchers to a seat base back at BPCG but really useful to test our learning and get some extra tips.

Figure 5 Carol, Becky, Ivan and Ben contemplating a chair

Figure 6 Ivan bashing in the legs

Figure 7 Testing the chair

We spent some time explaining where we were from and giving out BPCG leaflets, and had a chance to stroll around other open day stalls. Nunhead Cemetery is an amazing place and well worth a visit if you haven’t been. Coming back to our little corner was magical!

Figure 8 Gentle rattle and buzz in the woods

We had a wonderful time: a great learning and confidence boosting occasion. After that Saturday I’ve learned that companionship and generosity is part of the Green Wood ethos. We felt really welcomed and that we belonged there for that day.