Greenwood group on tour at the Burwash Manor Apple Day

The Burwash Apple day has become a regular autumn treat for the Estate Greenwood craft group as we have demonstrated their for the last 5 years. Burwash Manor is a group of converted farm buildings housing a selection of independent, unique shops including a tea-room situated on a working organic farm run by the Radford family (

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Following last year’s lack of ‘shelter from the rain’ issues following Jim ‘the weatherman’ McVittie’s assurance of sun so we didn’t need any cover, this year we decided to take one of the Trust’s large star tent. The tent provided a focus, somewhere to keep tools, free advertising for the Trust and served to provide shade when it got too hot since the weather was wonderful.

Jon on bowl turning with our tent in the background and Matt on spoons

Hoards of people came all day packing the venue and causing queues back to the A603 for the car park. The children enjoyed the obstacle course, train and donkey rides and the funfair whilst the adults bought food and drink from all the stalls and shops, watched the cookery demonstrations, pressed apples and talked apples and watched the rural craft demonstrations. In addition to about a dozen of us doing all things woody, there was a walking stick maker, a coppice worker, veterans of many Wimpole events Harriet and Tilly making and selling furniture as well as Wonderwood and Foxcotte fencing creating woven willow structures.

Most of our repertoire of ‘skills’ were on display : Jim ‘the bowl” McVittie, his co-opted friend David from Herefordshire and Jon were on bowl turning, Matt and Valerie on spoons, Kate turned spindles and yours truly created artisan dog fetching sticks/firewood. On the furniture side Jim ‘the chair’ McVittie had brought his amazing ‘make a chair from a single elm tree (woven bark seat and all)’ chair, our resident willow weaver Val came and together with Andrew seated a hastily made stool frame in willow and Graeme created something we are yet to definitively identify (seen in the background) but we believe it to be a cubist giraffe sculpture!

Kate preparing to turn spindles. Artisan dog fetching stick manufacture with Graeme and his Dali-esque Giraffe in the background.

By five O’Clock all of Simon’s estate ash had been used up, we were all exhausted and hoarse from all the talking to the public but happy and most of us had achieved something we were pleased with. The event gets bigger and better every year and we had a great day out. In the end the whole day raised over £5,200 for The Sick Children’s Trust, which works to provide free high-quality accommodation for families with children in hospital to keep of seriously ill children together. If you didn’t come this year, come next year

Jim ‘the bowl” McVittie’s beautiful spalted sycamore bowl and the willow seated ash stool. Matt’s elegant feather spoon. Some of our wares on display at the end of a fantastic day out.
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