A Brief History of Berkshire Woodturners
Below, the origins of the Berkshire Woodturners Association are described by Keith Sherwood who founded the club and is now remembered through the competition bearing his name.
Keith Sherwood's description of how Berkshire Woodturners was formed.
"After working many happy years in the film industry as a “special effects” man I decided to find employment elsewhere that had less stress. Eventually I found employment working in a tool shop in Reading. Having a reasonable knowledge of engineering and tools I seemed to slot in nicely.
After working there a few weeks, my boss decided to have a wood working week with planes, band saws, bench saws and even lathes. During the week the lathe demonstrator was absent due to illness, so I was asked if I would mind taking over, I was given a couple of hours tuition and after that I was hooked.
When the week was over, I decided to buy my first lathe, which I purchased from Rob Bonner, a Coronet No. 1.
During the week two customers came in and said they had just come back from Devon where they had been on a wood turning course with Oliver Plant, it was highly recommended, so I immediately booked a 3 day course which I found to be most enjoyable.
Back at the shop I made a bee line for any customer that showed an interest in wood turning and through this I made many good friends. They started to bring into the shop projects they had made to show me, so in return I invited a few of them to my house to show them what I had made.
After a while I was getting as many as 16 people coming on a Thursday, which was my day off. A few of us decided to put some feelers out about starting a wood turning club. We went to the Mychett wood turning club 2 or 3 times to see how it was run and to get some ideas.
Danny Cleary found our first club venue, which was a convent in Finchamstead Road, Wokingham on the 28th October 1991 and had 41 attendances. Since then the club has grown and has been going for fifteen years and I hope it will continue to do so. "
Since that time the club has moved to several other venues, people have come and gone, and a lot of shavings have been cleared off the workshop floor, but the club has retained the same friendly atmosphere, welcoming and nurturing new members.