About Us

Teesside Woodturners’ Association was established in 1998. After an inaugural meeting in a Middlesbrough pub, premises were found in Darlington, then we moved back to Middlesbrough in 2000.
During the next sixteen years we rented two council owned premises, first in Coulby Newham and then in Hemington, but in 2017 we were obliged to move again owing to changes in Council policy.

With the help of a large £10,000 grant from the Awards for All Lottery Fund and huge assistance from Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Community Asset Preservation Trust (who have recently taken over the running of the centre), we have now moved into the main hall of Hemlington Recreation Centre, where we have the use of a hall considerably larger than our last one, our own exclusive storage for all our equipment and loads of car parking space.
We are hugely indebted to Middlesbrough Council for their help over the years and to TVCAPT who have done everything in their power to ensure our club's survival and to provide us with suitable facilities.

We look forward to many happy and successful years in our new premises.

First meeting in our new home - 3rd May 2017.........

.....but with an average age of about 60 we will be struggling to observe this rule !!!!!

Our current membership ceiling is 105 members and we are always full to capacity and usually have a waiting list. When we have assessed the available space and facilities and got used to our new premises we may find that that we can afford to increase our membership ceiling. At the start of each financial year we usually lose about 10% of our membership, which usually gives us enough slack to clear the waiting list which accumulates during the summer show season. We are now averaging an attendance of about 55 per weekly meeting and about 60+ for the monthly demonstrations.

With the help of two small grants from Awards For All in our early years we were able to purchase a great deal of equipment; we now have eight lathes, and full camcorder and DVD recording and projector viewing equipment for demonstrations.

Having started with one night per month, we went on to twice per month; this was so successful that for the last sixteen years or so we have been meeting every Wednesday evening throughout the year ( though we reluctantly close during the Christmas/New Year week ).

We try to keep the third Wednesday of each month - our original meeting night – as our “main event” night, when we have a guest or "in house" demonstrator or a special theme night. On these evenings, we have recently had up to 65 members present.

All other Wednesdays are basically “do it yourself” nights, when anything goes, although we often have a small "in house" instruction class in the small room on the second Wednesday.

For a number of years we had a monthly competition on the fourth Wednesday, with the competition theme being announced a few weeks in advance. However, this was proving too demanding so we now have an occasional competition - about once per year - but we have an 'exhibits' table set up every week for members to display their latest masterpiece. This is photographed every week by our newsletter editor and published in the monthly newsletter 'Turning Point' ( see Newsletters section). This is proving so popular that I think we will soon need a bigger table.

We have up to eight lathes running all evening, with plenty of experienced turners available to assist beginners, our own “quartermaster” selling abrasives, finishes, pen kits etc., a wood store with a reasonable amount of timber for sale, and a large turning DVD library for hire. On these “ordinary” nights, we are averaging about 55 members per night.

Seven of our lathes are small portable Axminsters, some of which we take out to demonstrations at the local summer shows. These demos have proved very popular, and we are getting so many invitations that we occasionally have to muster two teams on the same day.

We have a display stand on which the members can display their latest masterpiece for all to see and learn. This gives everyone new ideas and encourages the newer members when they see what can be achieved.

The annual membership subscription is £35, starting on 1st April, or a pro rata payment for anyone joining during the year, with a weekly payment of £1 per attendance, which covers tea, coffee etc. Despite ever increasing rental costs and demonstrators' fees we managed to keep the charges unchanged for about six years, but in April 2017 we increased the subs from £30 to £35 to partly offset the increase in rental (almost double) for our new premises.

TWA Stand at Cleveland Show... ...our new gazebo at Ormesby Hall... ...and at Guisborough Priory.

Stan Lax doing it the hard way..... ....and Gerry Eyre chooses the easy option.

John Basford having a bad hair day.

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