Wood Show 2015 at the Weald & Downland Museum


- Credit: Archant

20–21 June - Celebrate the many uses of wood – from woodland crafts, horse logging and charcoal burning, right through to finished products for the home and garden.

Timber and wood are very much at the heart of the Museum, and this two-day event will celebrate its many traditional uses – as seen in the Museum’s timber framed buildings, plus the crafts and skills associated with building them and also in rural life.

Tickets to the event are just £5 each and visitors to the Wood Show, 20–21 June, will enjoy a range of wood craft demonstrations, a working wood yard, a traditional charcoal burn, teams of heavy horses carrying out forestry tasks, exhibitors and displays. From viewing the Museum’s own timber-framed buildings to crafted bowls, furniture, tools, toys and other wood products – there will be plenty to see, do and buy. A fascinating day out to celebrate Father’s Day.


Heavy horses

Museum Horseman, Mark Buxton, will demonstrate the use of a timber forwarder (loaned by Wests of East Dean) and timber loading demonstrations together with Frankie Woodgate. Frankie is a specialist in sustainable woodland management who, with her horses, will be working in and around the Museum’s woodland. Robert Sampson, who recently appeared on BBC TV’s Countryfile, will be carrying out a range of forestry tasks around the site with his magnificent Percherons.


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Wood working

Visitors to the Museum’s wood yard (and stands around the site) will see traditional demonstrations from members of the Association of Pole Lathe Turners and Greenwood workers, and the Sussex & Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset coppice groups. Their members will demonstrate crafts from hedge laying to twig pencil making, and besom broom making to spoon making. Traditional woodworker Mervyn Mewis will be showcasing his skills in making stunning furniture and musical instruments sourced from local woodlands and conservation projects. Master clog maker, Jeremy Atkinson, specialises in making traditional nineteenth-century style clogs and will be demonstrating his skills. He is the last person in England following this traditional craft. Local woodsman, Alan Waters, will be demonstrating the unusual spectacle of a traditional charcoal burn.


Wood carving and carpentry

The Museum’s conservation workshop, the Downland Gridshell, will be full of interesting demonstrations, stands and activities, including the Daywood Carvers and the Solent Guild of Wood Carvers. Former Museum Carpenter, Roger Champion, will be re-erecting his hand-made model of the Museum’s Medieval House from North Cray over the weekend. Visitors can also enjoy viewing the Museum’s collection of historic tools and artefacts, which are on display in the Gridshell artefact store.


Tours and more

There will be talks and tours of the woodland, plus visitors can learn the secrets of some of the Museum’s timber framed buildings. Join in with Summer Solstice maypole dancing, with teaching and music from folk performers ‘Trads’. Horse drawn wagon rides will take place throughout the weekend driven by John McDermott and his Percherons.

“The Wood Show will be a wonderful event for all of the family and will make a perfect day out – particularly for Father’s Day,” said Museum Director Richard Pailthorpe. “It offers a fantastic opportunity to discover the journey that wood takes: the wonderful woodland in which it grows; the skills, tools and crafts used to work with wood; the end products which we have in our homes and gardens.”



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