The time of the annual Burwash Manor apple day had come round again and the Estate Greenwood Workers had been asked to appear as a rural craft demos for the seventh year running. It is a fantastic event and raises lots of money for the Sick Children’s Trust so we had a good turnout from the group.
A few of us had agreed to meet at Burwash Manor to put up the big National Trust tent but “NO” said the McWeatherman. “My seaweed, my left knee, the prevailing winds and cloud formation (not to mention the Met Office) say high winds tonight. As we didn’t want to spend Apple Day wandering around the Cambridgeshire asking people if they had seen a large brown and pink tent fly past, we decided to hold off on the tent until early next morning. The McWeatherman was right yet again – it blew a gale half the night.
So at 8am several of us got there for a coffee and a croissant and popped up the tent – very easy for something so large and just needs a rope equilateral triangle and a sledge hammer. By 8.30 the tent was up and most peoples’ kit had been unloaded and a beautiful rainbow appeared overhead…Five minutes of frantic scurrying to get tools undercover were just enough before the heavens opened for an hour. More coffee!
After an hour the clouds blew away and the weather was set fair for the rest of the day. We had many visitors and spent a lot of time talking to the public about the wide range of things we were doing. Simon’s horse-headed yew shave horse caused much delight, though possibly not as much as the mountains of shavings Jim generated from making chair parts non-stop for 6 hours. We also had shingle making, spoon carving and relief carving on the go. Finally a small group lead by Ollie who ran a have go splitting and draw knifing for children.
We were joined in our corner of the field by some other crafters including another bodger, Bic and his array of beautifully drawknife-only made lath back and ladder back chairs, a walking stick maker and our old friends Harriet and Tilly with their popup furniture workshop.
Craft was not the only thing on the menu, the Raptor foundation were there with a series of beautiful birds, John and Alexander Reid with a steam roller, a miniature steam engine not to mention all the apple related stalls, apple pressing and the fun fair.
5pm came round all too quickly and we packed up at the end of yet another successful Burwash Manor Apple day that in the end raised around £5000
A final note added in press: on Sat 27th Oct, Tim Radford of Foxcotte Fencing/Wonderwood, who were demonstrating making more of their wonderful woven willow fences and whose family run Burwash Manor, won the 2018 National Hedgelaying championship, that was held in Barton. So now in our tiny neck of the woods, we have the National Scything champion (Simon Damant) and the National Hedgelaying champion!…does anyone do ditching around here?