Club History

Burcot Woodturners Club was formed in 1997 by Professional Woodturner, Richard Barnes, based at Burcot Forge. The Club became affiliated to the AWGB (Association of Woodturners of Great Britain) in April 1998. Burcot Village Hall was the ideal place to meet and has been the club’s base from the early days.

The club was created to offer a friendly meeting place for woodturners of all abilities and experience and the object of the Club has been to help all members enhance their woodturning skills. Club meetings have been held on the first Thursday of each month, there has always been a varied programme of events including professional demonstrations and hands-on evenings.

One of the aims of Burcot Woodturners is to promote the heritage craft of woodturning and to encourage new people to take up the hobby and join the club. Over the last 25 years, the Club has been involved with a number of outside events, demonstrating and promoting the skills of Woodturning.
We have been proud to attend, and be associated with, the following events over the years:

  • Canals and river trust events.
  • Saint Richards Canal festival Droitwich
  • Stourbridge Bonded Warehouse Autumn Open Weekends
  • Hawes Basin Open day Stourbridge
  • Churchill Forge and Water Mill (one of the last water-powered Forges in the UK), where Club members demonstrated the use of the Pole Lathe
  • Belbroughton Scarecrow event where all methods of woodturning were demonstrated
  • Armed Forces Day at Himley Hall.

The Club has also had a long connection to the Scouts, and Club Members have been involved in several Scouting events. We attended Saint George’s Day at Mary Stevens Park to introduce Scouts & Cubs to Woodturning. At Blackwell Court, the West Midlands Scouting Adventure Centre, 4 Lathes were set up and Scouts were taught to turn Woggles from wood over the weekend to replace their plastic ones. During that weekend over 300 Scouts, including the District Commissioner, turned Woggles under strict supervision from Club Members.

The Club has continued to grow over the years, not just in membership numbers. We have two club lathes, which are used both at club meetings and outside events, and our own gazebo, generator, and equipment so that we can demonstrate woodturning and new skills either during club nights or at outside events.

In 2020 & 2021 the club was affected by the Covid pandemic and government restrictions. Monthly meetings were cancelled, and whilst members continued turning we were unable to come together as a group or event participate in any outdoor events. When restrictions were lifted it allowed us to meet once more, and in 2022 we have not only had a full programme for our meetings but have also been able to return to shows and events to demonstrate our craft.

As a result of the pandemic, we have also looked at the different ways that we can keep members in touch with one another, and in 2022 we launched a Facebook, and Instagram page and have redesigned our website. This will bring Burcot Woodturners into the technological age, and hopefully, make it easier for everyone to stay connected with each other.

2022 also saw another major change for the club when long-serving club secretary, John Smith stood down from the post. Over the years John had undertaken the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Events Secretary, often all at the same time! In recognition of his hard work and devotion to the club, he was voted as the first President that the Club has had.