Linda and I had the great privilege to attend The European Woodworking Show at Cressing Temple Barns near Braintree, Essex, a bit north of London, England. The venue was spectacular with over 90 vendors and exhibitors in both barns, event tents and outdoor stalls. This auspicious event is the brainchild of Mike Hancock of Classic Hand Tools and I am grateful to Mike and his stalwart crew for doing an incredible job of organizing a huge event, and for including us in it.
And that vendor and exhibitor line-up doesn’t include all the great food and beer that sustained us in our exertions. The weather was uncommonly (I’m told) gorgeous. Rain threatened but never really materialized and while there were some cloudy, cool moments, I’ll remember my visit to Essex as being clear and sunny throughout.
The first photo above shows the barley barn on the left. The Knights Templar started cutting the timber for it in 1205. It is the oldest standing timber-framed barn in the world. We were showing our wares in the wheat barn, on the right in the top photo, which has a 44-ton brick/tile roof.
I took this photo of the inside of the wheat barn as we opened on Sunday. It was estimated that over 2000 people attended on Saturday so this joint was jumping most of the time.
Linda and I met a number of friends and customers face to face that we’ve known and done business with for many years by internet and phone. They came from all over the UK and Europe. There were several vendors from the States and Canada, France and Australia. We had time after hours to chat with our fellow tool-makers (a real treat for Linda and me) while we enjoyed delicious Indian fare and local ales. (Notice I used the plural there.) A congenial group, a great, large crowd, good food and drink — a memorable weekend, indeed.
Mike promises another show in two years so keep an eye out* for The European Woodworking Show 2017. We’re looking forward to it!
*Better yet, sign up for Classic Hand Tools’ newsletter. You’ll be in the know.