If you have any questions about the programme or any of the demonstrators, please contact Mary our Programme Secretary.

John French


"Although I did some turning at school, it was not until I was approaching retirement that I began to think seriously about it. I had some tuition with Bill Care and through him joined the West Suffolk Woodturning Club, and I've been turning for just over 20 years.

I have just retired as Newsletter Editor for the West Suffolk Club, a post I held for 17 years. During that time I also held the position of Chairman of the club for 5 years. My career background was in analytical chemistry and R&D management."

Paul Howard


"I am originally from Romford but moved to Tiptree in the early 70s. I currently live there with my wife Sally, who is a retired teacher. We have two grown up daughters, one who lives locally and the other who lives in Wiltshire.

My working life has mainly been spent in electrical and mechanical engineering, working on small to large machinery of all types including metal and woodworking machines also robotics and automated systems. I have worked on ships in the Bahamas and UK also I spent some time in the water industry.

I worked in America for several years setting up and helping to run a manufacturing plant to make connecting rods for Diesel Engines for a range vehicles.

Having a mechanical engineering background has encouraged me to explore the many facets of woodturning.

Work and family commitments in the past have limited the amount of time available for wood turning projects. Now I am semi-retired and living back in the UK, I have had the luxury of being able to spend more time woodturning and teaching small groups of people (including attending Scout events where the scouts and scouters tried woodturning for the first time). I have also been able to spend time developing products and ideas that can be of help to other woodturners.

Now I am in the fortunate position of having many woodturning friends in the UK and from around the world.

I am a member of the AWGB (Association of Woodturners of Great Britain), the SECB (Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge Borders) Colchester Woodturning Club. I am now the Chairman for the Sandon Woodturners, we meet every Saturday. The Sandon Club have demonstrators from all over the country, have a look at our website . We have a shop selling wood and turning consumables.

I am also a member of the AAW (Association of American Woodturners) and managed to get to the 25th anniversary symposium in St Paul Minnesota.

I now spend much of my time teaching, demonstrating and continuing to develop ideas of how to further my own skills of woodturning in general."

Download Paul's Small Chair Design Plan

Clem Ansell


"About me. I first started woodturning after getting diabetes and being out of work in 1985, the department of employment then sent me on a disability training scheme. Having got there, I was taken round the different departments, one of which was a woodwork shop. I had not been interested in woodwork, but had been working in engineering and with machinery in the past. I think it was my interest in both that drew me to the lathe standing in the corner. I was down there nearly every day after that making things and learning for myself for about eight weeks.

After leaving there having got a job, I saved up and bought my own lathe. I then joined the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain and a club in Kent where we lived. I played with the lathe every night and weekends, getting told off for being late for bed, practicing and making lots of different things and showing them at classic car shows where I took my classic car. Then one day my work was complimented by a member of the highly acclaimed Worshipful Company of Woodturners, we became good friends, and still are very good friends after having a few lessons with him. I started to turn wood as a full time job and got involved in a demonstration at a craft fair, to my surprise it went down well and word got out, I then began doing demo's on a regular basis. During this time, my friend the woodturner asked me if I could teach someone he knew as he didn't have the time, as I have a teaching background in driving and engineering, I accepted. After enjoying this, I continued with demonstrating and teaching. I have since had the pleasure of teaching in the disability training scheme that I went on, and a 14yr old who has subsequently gone on to win two competitions. I still teach, demonstrate, and take on commissions no job to big or too small."

Brian Partridge


"I have been turning for about 30 years and demonstrating at various clubs for 20 years. I do not make much for sale but am happy to get requests for items, and support two antique furniture restorers. I help Paul Howard with instructing the workshop days. I was on the AWGB committee for 15 years and acted as regional rep for about 12 years. I was also webmaster for around 12 years. I was awarded Life Membership on retiring from the Committee. I have been secretary for SECB for the last 16 years. Before retiring, I was an electronic engineer for Marconi and was Chief Engineer for Marconi Radar just prior to retiring. I moved from the Chelmsford area into Hadleigh Suffolk soon after retiring."

Colin Smith


"I started woodturning in about 1980 after going to evening classes in the mid 70s. I met Ray Hopper at a craft fair and he introduced me to The Ely Guild in 1988 of which I remained a member until 1996 when I moved to Stevenage. I am chairman of Cambridge Woodturners and also South East Rep for the AWGB. My main interest is Off Centre woodturning, practising what Ray Hopper said to me r.e. 'Thinking outside the Box'."

Patricia Spero & Gabor Lacko

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"We are all familiar with the usual woodturning demonstrations where the demonstrator shows his or her method of producing one or two interesting pieces. This usually means watching the process from roughing out the project to finishing it, stage by stage. You can spend an evening demo watching two or three projects which may give you just one new idea.

We do not demonstrate, we do not turn, we do not generate any shavings.

What we do is try to show through our presentation a large number of our projects (about forty), using around 450 slides, and also showing some of the end products. We explain how they were produced, the tools used and methods used in general.

We guarantee that after our shavings- free ‘demo’ there will be much more than two or three new ideas to take home and to try yourselves."