Where It All Started…
The club was formed in 2005 by the students of a carving course at Chippenham College. When the course closed, the members needed a workshop/studio of their own for carving and other forms of woodwork. They teamed up with Michael Huntley (their woodcarving tutor) to form the club and to share premises. Michael was then able to run furniture restoration and woodworking courses, in addition to giving help and advice to the woodcarvers.
The building, a Grade 2 listed former coaching stable, is part of the Lansdowne Arms at Derry Hill and we are grateful to the Lansdowne Estate and Wadworths Brewery for their generosity in allowing us to use it.
…And Where We Are Now
The pictures above show the workshop as it is now, with those below showing its state when we arrived. An enormous amount of work was required to create the transformation, which was achieved with a huge effort from the then members of the club, together with Michael. A new power supply was installed and benches / workstations set up the original horse stalls. Gradually, machines were acquired and now have a dedicated area with dust extraction equipment.
However, the club’s emphasis is very much on working by hand; quieter and much less dusty! The bandsaw, pillar drill, scroll saw etc are useful for cutting down on the grunt work, but our main enthusiasm is for wielding tools of the muscle-driven variety. The club is home to quite a few ‘tool nuts’ (not all male) who dream of the latest shiny (or old and collectable) planes, chisels, saws, carving tools and so on!
The workshop continues to be ‘work in progress’ and we are still improving the quality of workbenches. Grateful thanks are due to the members of the club who have the time and skills to help with this constant upgrading.
With such a great place to work, we would like to share it with more members – that is where you come in!