In the autumn of 1997 seven would-be woodturners met in the home of John and Norma Taggart and Woodbury Woodturners was formed. Within a year the membership had increased to over 20 and the club relocated to a small room in Woodbury village hall. Now the club has no less than 130 fully paid up members, enough to fill the entire hall.
The aim of the club is to encourage, develop and promote the art, science and craft of woodturning and to that end, liaise with other clubs, hold monthly meetings and take part in other local activities to promote both the club and woodturning in general.
The monthly meetings are the club’s mainstay and to fulfil its objectives it has had visits from some of the best demonstrators from around the country. Many, such as Tobias Kaye, Dave Regester, Jason Breach and Nick Agar, are from the local area, while others, including Phil Irons, Stuart Batty, Ray Jones, Jimmy Clewes and Richard Raffan come from further afield.
Other aspects of woodcraft have been demonstrated by the carver Martin Turner, pyrographer Bob Niel and colouring and texturing expert Nick Agar, the members’ view of these demonstrations being greatly assisted by the use of three monitors and a hand-held video unit.
For monthly meetings hosted solely by the club, three lathes are set up along with two static displays with concurrent activity the theme of the evening. Many subjects are covered and lots of questions answered from the vast experience of the club’s members. There’s even a DVD and book library, home to some 200 titles. Another real boon to those who wish to touch up on their skills in their spare time is a scheme run by the club which allows members to hire specialist tools and machines belonging to the club.
A monthly raffle of prizes, donated by members, raises income for funds.
An annual show featuring members’ work was started in 1998 to show local people what the woodturners actually got up to in the village hall. Each year this has gone from strength to strength.
The club is constantly upgrading its equipment and with new ideas and new subjects being covered all the time, members are never at a loss for something to do. The club would like to encourage both more younger members and more ladies but having grown over the years from a mere seven to an impressive 125, it is certainly heading in the right direction. As it stands all 125 club members are enjoying their common love of woodturning.