That’s right! We’ve planned this for a while and the days have flown by. We’ve been less settled because through our outreach we have kept growing. No complaints but we need a place we feel we can grow into and more help to make it happen. The ever-widening audience has led to growing pains for many months; perhaps a couple of years. The question then was where do we want to go to grow. For the first time we could truly pick our spot on the globe. Decision made, we’re moving lock, stock and barrel to what is truly my native country, England; see close to ‘where’ below.
More than one reason, but Penrhyn Castle can’t give us the extra space to expand our vision. Ultimately we need to triple our footprint in different realms; school, studio, workshop and so on. So with that in mind, and the fact that I do want to live back in my home country, I have taken the first phase to start the new year with. Historic castle walls are impossible to extend, push out or change. They cling to their historic past whereas we must reach into a sustainable future.
The new location for New Legacy, Woodworking Masterclasses and our video and online work, apprenticing, research and such, needs expandable space for growth. Oxfordshire is to be the host county, I have already decided that. The need more options for support too has influenced this too. We envisage taking on additional staff we can train and work with. I want to keep on training new apprentices as well, which is far from an easy thing in my type of lifestyle. With the plan to make Oxford a few short miles away, we can tap into its existing history of multi-faceted provision; that’s catering to tourists, students and so on who now come to us from from around the world. It’s pretty much a straight shot for most living in the UK too, and those traveling from abroad could pick just about any UK airport to fly into according to their flight provider.
We felt a long time ago that central England would worked much better for the UK, mainland Europe and then the rest of the world too. Our current plans place us 60 miles from the UK capital, London. Birmingham is 1 1/2 hours away and Luton about the same. Manchester is 2 1/2 hours away so we are about as close as it gets to being in Britain’s central hub.
Of course I will miss things in North Wales which has been just a lovely place to live and I have made so many wonderful friends too. My walks will change not having any sea to look over and sand to walk on but there will be new woods and walks along the Thames to discover.
Almost immediately. It’s no small thing moving homes and workshops, but we’re in the throes of packing now. In a few weeks we should be done but I am on an early spring clean as i work through cupboard after cupboard and wood stack after wood stack. I m hoping that we can work toward everything in-house and under one roof so to speak, to make life simpler. Woodworking master classes will continue uninterrupted of course but the school may not begin its main range of foundational courses until mid-year. Dates will be available when deadlines for our new location are finalised. Meanwhile we’ll be considering options for holding one and two-day workshops in different locations shortly. It’s very exciting.
New Legacy keeps growing and students with students from Europe and from the farthest climes now taking 50% of places. Wherever the school ends up our goal is that it will be within a bus or train ride from Heathrow and Gatwick or an easy drive on the right side of the road for those brave enough to try it. Oxfordshire county has a long established reputation for hospitality.
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