Wood, for me, has been both a source of pleasure and a fascination.  My father was a talented joiner and cabinet maker.  As a child, I spent many hours in awe watching him at work in his workshop in Atherton, Lancashire, whilst I was allowed to bash away at scraps of wood with hammer and nails. After moving to a different part of Lancashire in 1957, my secondary school was in Fleetwood, Lancashire.  Woodwork was a subject in which I excelled, I also greatly admired my woodwork teacher Mr Ivan Evans. I was influenced so much by him that I decided to train as a teacher at Cheshire College of Education, Alsager where I gained a distinction in woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing. I started to teach in Bedford in 1969 and by 1986 was promoted to the County’s Advisory Service where I was responsible for running inservice courses for teachers.
However, the teaching of woodwork, as I knew it, changed gradually and on the introduction of the National Curriculum became Design and Technology.  The teaching of traditional skills became very watered down in order to include the new technologies such as electronics, mechanisms and the like.  Despite the fact that I had to promote D&T as part of my job and enjoyed the new challenges that the ‘new technologies’ brought, I personally sorely missed the traditional aspect of the subject.  The pupils used to have a great sense of achievement when they produced a well made and finished piece of work. When the opportunity of retirement arose, my interest in woodturning was rekindled and I bought myself a lathe to set up in my garage workshop - so now I definitely can’t get the car into the garage or much else either! I am now in woodworking heaven, I can work at the bench or the lathe to my heart’s content although gardening or decorating sometimes get in the way. I must thank my wife Marilyn for her patience and understanding - she does let out of my workshop sometimes and brings me endless cups of tea. My interest in lace bobbins started when I first saw a collection belonging to my wife’s grandmother a lace maker. This interest was rekindled when my work with the Advisory Service was based in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
Catherine of Aragon was at one time locked up in Ampthill Castle (no longer standing).  The story goes that Catherine taught her ladies how to make Aragon Lace and from that begining, Bedfordshire became a centre of lace making. David Springett’s book has been used for much of my inspiration and the antique lace bobbins that my wife still has from her grandmother. I now enjoy the challenge of tackling various aspects of woodturning and woodwork and enjoy talking to people at local craft fairs where any sales I make help to pay for my hobby and enjoyment.
Quality Woodturning by John Lingings Well Turned Out
About Me
© John F Lingings - All rights reserved     Revised April 2015