North of England Woodworking Show – more new friends

I don’t know where to start really. Should I tell you of the vast percentage of the show that is not woodworking at all, or the important bits in between the big bit booths?

Lots to do but poor venue structure

Many show or event organisers use craftsmen and women to wallpaper the walls of their shows with while others really put great effort into setting up the venue and enhancing the education sections, In this show it’s the craftsmen and women that make it happen not the organisers. Here there is no vision for education and enhancement for the real value for real woodworking unfortunately. Everyone is pretty well stuffed in little booths like the old zoos used to be where they had a ten foot by ten foot cage with a Bengal tiger inside or an African lion. Kind of pathetic really.


Beware of sharks!

I think we should keep it positive. Sharks are everywhere in certain seas and they are hungry feeders much of the time. Woodworking shows have their fair share. Go in most of the Big Boys Toys booths and you have Big Boy salesmen who know nothing about woodworking, but they do know how to take money from new woodworkers looking for answers. I will try to keep this about real woodworking and not sanding discs and millions of clamps made in China and sold under the Irwin brand that uses the old Marples’ name to milk the public from. Remember that the USA plastic bucket and waste bin giant Rubbermaid owns Irwin. Very, very boriiiiiing. They get the accolade for Unreal Woodworking


Real Woodworking Campaign strikes accord with most  

OK, highlights. Working with Phil Edwards has been a treat and his knowledge of planes excels. His own planes are here for people to use and they are really quite stunning. Phil’s techniques in creating his planes are very much hand-eye coordinated. Few people achieve his standards. His planes will of course feature in my new book on planes and as a unique feature I will be looking for the planemakers to have their say wherever I use their planes if they want to, so watch out for the next book. Real Woodworking



I watched Richard today too, as I did yesterday. It was great seeing this young and inspiring craftsman showing his skills with hand tools as well as his benches, which he sells here in Europe but also ships to the US regularly. He makes his own mechanisms too. Look at this one (two pictures below) and tell me he hasn’t been creative. Very beautiful. Real Woodworking














Wandering round the show I  came across a friend carver Colin Hickman who carves walking sticks that look very lovely. An ex coal miner surviving a mine rock fall, Colin has found carving a safer retirement occupation and carves just about any animal head you want for your walking cane collection. Real Woodworking


 From the raw wood emerges creative work 



What about this for a carving. Michael Painter is a world class carver as you can see from his work. He never stopped working the whole time he was here at the show and people stood a distance from him as he carved so as not to invade his creative space. This is another real woodworking strike for us folks. In Mike’s booth there are dozens of examples of his sculpting and carving skills. You rarely see this many pieces in one place and he lets you touch his work, but carefully. Real Woodworking




This is a self-carve by Mike


  1. Thank you for your honest opinions of the show, I have never read a review of a show slating the organizer by an invited guest who is still attending the show.
    Mark white

    1. I love the people who come. I know what they are looking for, and it would cost almost nothing to make the venue something more than what it is right now. The attendance levels are high, but if it offered more of a balance it would work for everyone. All of the demonstrators are more than willing to help show attendees and give from their vast knowledge, which I find most refreshing. They should be recognised as they are in the US shows.

Comments are closed.

Privacy Notice

You must enter certain information to submit the form on this page. We take the handling of personal information seriously and appreciate your trust in us. Our Privacy Policy sets out important information about us and how we use and protect your personal data and it also explains your legal rights in respect of it. Please click here to read it before you provide any information on this form.