The following is a record of our club activities over  the last two years.

All Wednesday evening events take place at our club rooms at Hemlington Recreation Centre, Cass House Road, Hemlington, Middlesbrough. TS8 9QW.
All Wednesdays, other than those listed here, are club "hands on" evenings.




Wed 23: GREAT NEWS!!! Barring further setbacks we intend to reopen on Wednesday 23rd June. We will be starting with caution with PPE and social distancing and probably a limited number initially until we see how it goes. CAN'T WAIT!!!

YES WE DID IT!!!Great to be back. Only 29 members tonight and no-one did any turning, just came to pay their subs, stock up on polishes abrasives etc and chat with their mates. But it's a good start. Hopefully we'll soon get back to normal.

PLEASE NOTE: Until we get back to normal i.e. a decent attendance and members able and happy to sit shoulder to shoulder in the hall we will not be doing any demonstrations. All club nights will be standard "hands on" evenings until further notice.

Our members have been extremely busy during the long lockdown period. Here are just a few of the items they have produced and posted on our club's Facebook page.



Wed 18th: Bring and Buy sale. Many of us have had a  good sort out in our workshops during the lockdown and have found things we didn't know we had and no longer need. Here's a chance to get rid of the stuff you don't want and maybe pick up a bargain at the same time.


Wed 1st: Tonight we are trying a new experiment:- on the first Wednesday of each month we will put an instructional video on the screen behind the room divider. We have a large selection of DVD's to choose from and the DVD chosen for the evening will be left running throughout the evening for anyone who wants to watch it. Obviously it will be of interest mainly to our newer less experienced members but I'm sure everyone who cares to watch will learn something new.

Wed 15th: Tonight we are restarting our monthly demos but for the time being we are alternating with past visiting RPT demos from years ago projected onto the screen and the next month hopefully a live 'in house' demo.
This evening's DVD demo will be Jimmy Clewes, a world class RPT who used to live in County Durham and visited us on numerous occasions, including a full day's training course, before moving to America many years ago.


Wed 2oth: Tonight will be our first live demo since we restarted and club member Brian Haggath will start the ball rolling.

This attracted the highest attenance so far since we restarted but still only 34.
Brian demonstrated a few simple ideas, all wine related, in an attempt to get members to think outside the box and try something new.

We need some more volunteers from our members to stand up and do something.

See also our links page


Wed 17th: Annual Competition. There will be two classes, Novice and Experienced. The dividing line has yet to be decided. Entries must be pieces not previously entered and the entries will be judged by all members present and winners decided by paper votes from the members present. Trophies will be presented to the winners of each class.


Wed 15: Club member and recently qualified RPT Dennis Wake will do an IRD (Interactive Remote Demonstration) from his home workshop to our club premises.
This will be our first 'Zoom' demo at the club. We have tested all our gear and will be using Dennis as our 'guinea pig' to check that we can do it successfully.
Dennis is very experienced in doing these remote demonstrations and he did three for us during the pandemic lockdown which we watched from our homes, so hopefully he will treat us gently and help us sort out any teething problems if we have any.
We look forward to the demonstration and hope for a good attendance to finish off a difficult year at the club.

Dennis did a good informative demonstration for our first attempt at an IRD. We had a few minor technical problems at the start but we learned from our mistakes and we are confident that we can do a better one in the future if we decide to go down that route when our attendance figures improve. We also had 7 members watching from home who are not yet confident enough to return to the club.

Many thanks to Dennis for acting as our guinea pig and providing us with a good night's entertainment.

Wed 22nd: Club closed.
Wed 29th: Club closed.





Wed 19: Club member Ian Lockwood has kindly volunteered to do our first live demo this year. Ian is one of our newest members and started as a novice just before the shut down so we are indebted to him for volunteering.

Ian did an excellent demonstration, producing a three piece bird feeder. His demo was interesting and informative, well prepared and almost faultlessly delivered. He was a credit to the club and hopefully an encouragement to other members to come forward and volunteer. He also provided a superb step by step instruction sheet for anyone who wishes to have a go.

Thanks Ian, Well done.



Wed 2: Club member Ian Johnson will be doing a mini demo on a hands  on night and will make a lidded box.

Sorry Ian, no photographs for that one.




Wed 16th: Tonight's live demo will be split into two halves with club members Mike Nightingale doing the first half and Ian Robson doing the second half. We look forward to an interesting evening.
Mike made a tool handle and a miniature tool and Ian made a 'troll'. Between them they provided an interesting evening. Thanks to both of you.


Mike Nightingale

Ian Robson



Wed 16: ZOOM demo by Andrew Hall RPT. Andrew has done numerous live demos at our club over the years and this one was booked for this date in EARLY FEBRUARY 2020 i.e. before we shut down for the pandemic. It was the earliest available date at that time. Andrew is honouring that booking but it will now be a ZOOM demo from his workshop.

Thanks Andrew for an interesting demonstration. I regret that the attendance at the club and the number watching it at home was not very encouraging.

Wed 23: Today is a very sad day for our club. Our long serving Chairman Stan Lax passed away this morning after a long illness.
We have lost a passionate very hard working and well respected club member who will be sadly missed by everyone.



Wed 13: We had something totally different this evening. Club member Beverley Wilkinson held a 'hands on' instructional demonstration on Pyrography.
About half a dozen club members brought in their own pyrography kits and sat round a large table whist Bev gave them detailed instructions and individual help with a set project, and the rest of the club members sat and watched it on the screen.
Unfortunately, although I succeeded in setting up the camera and screen I forgot to switch on the recorder, so I have no still shots of the demonstration to show here. So Bev has come to the rescue and sent me some photos of the superb collection she had on display.


Thanks Bev for a superb informative and inspiring evening.



Wed 20: A.G.M. This was our first live AGM since March 2019 and there was a lot to do.
As stated above, our long serving Chairman Stan Lax sadly passed away a few weeks ago so our first priority was to elect a new Chairman.
Ian Lockwood was proposed and kindly accepted the position.

Our long standing Treasurer Brian Haggath stated a few months ago that he wished to stand down so this position was thankfully accepted by committee member Derek Fixter.

Brian is happy to continue as Secretary and the other committee members are happy to continue in their current posts.



Wed 25: GNAAS PRESENTATION. During the last two years we have been unable to do our country show demonstrations and have therefore been unable to give our usual cash donation to our club's charity, Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Consequently club member Duncan Hutchinson suggested a couple of months ago that our members each make something and donate it, then we would have a presentation event to pass all the items over to GNAAS.
This is the culmination of our efforts. A GNAAS representative will give us a power point assisted talk on their work and we will then present her with all the items on display together with a cheque for the money we have collected over the last two years.
We will also offer assistance in pricing and selling of the items at their next open day event.
Tonight will be open to members' partners, friends etc and light refreshments will be laid on
This evening proved to be an enormous success. We had the highest attendance since we restarted last June and the donations of turned items was beyond our wildest dreams.

GNAAS representative Sophie Bendelowe gave a very interesting, eye opening and thought provoking powerpoint assisted talk about the work of the Air Ambulance Service and she was then presented with a staggering 121 turned items donated by our members to be sold at future GNAAS fund raising events.
She was also presented with a cheque for £800, most of which was from the sale of items at our pre pandemic shows and the proceeds of a collection at our late Chairman Stan Lax's funeral a few weeks ago.




Sat 11: Cleveland Lace Makers. We are invited to attend the Lace Makers AGM at Eaglescliffe Community Centre.
This is not an open event for the public but we have been invited for many years to set up a couple of lathes and a stall at their annual event. It will be good to return after two years of complete inactivity.

We did attend but unfortunately the only lathe we took broke down after just a few minutes, but we did have a stall of turned items, which was really of more interest to the ladies than a demonstration of turning.


Wed 15: In house demonstration by club member David Otterson.
David did a short talk on producing and selling items for craft fairs then followed the talk by turning a selection of the most popular craft fair items.
This was an interesting and informative demo which prompted a couple of members to have a go at selling their products at craft fairs.


Wed 22: Training Day. Club RPT David Muckle organised a training session for 5 of our newest members to make a bowl. He supplied each of them with an 8" x 2" elm bowl blank then demonstrated each stage and supervised them as they caried out his instructions.
The result was 5 new members all went home happy with a decent fruit bowl. I should have taken some photos.



Sat 16: Picton Agricultural Show. We have been invited to set up our gazebo, lathes etc. and  demonstrate to the public at this show.
It will be our first outside public demonstration since September 2019.

This turned out to be a superb ay. The weather was excellent and Picton Show has expanded and improved dramatically since 2019.

Thanks to new club member Tim Morris for picking up the trailer and making this demo possible.


Wed 20: In house demo by club member Nigel Coates. Content not known yet but judging by previous demonstrations it will be worth watching.
He did point out that after his last demo we closed the club for 18 months !!!

As expected, Nigel gave us an excellent demonstration. He made a large Burr Elm bowl and made a difficult project look easy, providing loads of advice and safety tips along the way.

Apart from our special GNAAS presentation evening a few months ago we had our biggest attendance since we restarted in June 2021.




Fri 12: Demonstration at Pinchinthorpe Walkway Visitor Centre.


 Wed 17: Demonstration by visiting turner Mick Hanbury R.P.T. Mick was a regular visitor to our club and this will be our first live demonstration by a visiting turner since the 2019 lockdown.
We are eagerly awaiting this demo and it will be a big step on our road to recovery and return to normality.



This was an excellent demonstration where Mick produced a superb coloured pedestal bowl.



Wed 21: Presentation by club member Graham Hobson. Graham's speciality is stick making with carved and coloured animals' heads on the handles and he will be giving a Powerpoint assisted presentation projected onto the screen via a computer. There will be numerous slides, diagrams and short videos accompanied by a flip chart explanation to guide us through the whole process. There will also be a selection of finished sticks on display.

This will be something new for us and we look forward to a very interesting and informative evening.

This was a very interesting and informative presentation which made for a very enjoyable evening.

Thanks Graham.


Sun 25: Demonstration at Preston Park, Eaglescliffe. This is another popular venue which we have been unable to attend since 2019.



Wed 19: Demonstration by artistic woodturner Helen Bailey. This will be Helen's first visit to our club and we look forward to meeting her.

Helen gave us a superb long and interesting demonstration. She produced an unbelievably thin 2mm bowl and did a small amount of piercing to explain and demonstrate the technique and had some excellent pieces on show. After the coffee break she made a very fine three piece natural edge yew goblet.

Thanks Helen for an excellent and thought provoking evening.


Some of Helen's work





Wed 16: Annual Competition Night.

The topic for tonight's competition was "Anything BUT a Bowl"

 This attracted a good attendance, including about half a dozen wives, and as always we had some superb entries on the table.

In the Craftsman class third place went to Graham Hobson, second to Graham Pheonix and first place went to Kevin Russell.

He was presented with the Bill Beeforth Trophy by Bill's widow Sheila.

In the Novice class third place went to Bev Wilkinson, second to Cliff Lightfoot and  Steve Jenkins picked up the first place trophy. 

Thanks to all who participated and to John and Carole Basford for providing the light refreshments.




Wed 15th: demonstration by club member Brian Haggath 

Brian made a bowl with a triple row of open segments. He showed and demonstrated the "Sue Harker" jig and explained how to cut the segments and build up the bowl then after the coffee break he changed to a previously glued up blank and turned the bowl.

The demo was well attended and a fair number of members requested copies of  the jig and instructions, so it can't have been that bad.



Wed 15th:  A.G.M. A well attended meeting with some lively debate and big decisions made.

Sat 25th: This month marks the club's 25th anniversary  and it was celebrated with a Social Evening at Marton Cricket Club.

It was well attended by members and their partners. They were entertained by  Stockton and Darlington Ukulele Band

and a quiz and an excellent buffet was laid on.

An anniversary cake  was cut by Vivienne Hansell and Sheila Beeforth,  widows of two if the three founding members  .





Wed 12: Visiting demonstrator Paul Hannaby R.P.T.

This was Paul's first visit to our club and he gave us something completely new to us.

He turned a bowl with a pewter rim and a pewter base, and went into great detail on the procedure of melting, pouring and turning this material.

It was a very informative, interesting and enjoyable demonstration.




Wed 17th:   Cub member John Oldham  did this months demonstration. He produced an excellent hollow form with lid and finial and three feet, then decorated it  with blue and gold.



Sat   20th: Live demonstrations by club members at the Darlington Creates 2023. A yearly arts festival hosted by Darlington for Culture in the Market Square.

Unfortunately we did not attend this event as there was no-one available with a tow bar to pull the trailer.