Category: AWGB News

News relating to the AWGB

Allan Batty

It is with regret that I have to let you know of the death of Allan Batty on Sunday, 10th July.
He had been ill for some time and he passed away in the company of family, close friends and his well loved dog, at home.  A Yorkshireman by birth he spent many years living in the Peak District and was a regular at Craft Supplies and John Boddy’s.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

Allan’s funeral will be held at Wigan Crematorium on Tuesday 26th July at 1.00pm.

The address is Warrington Road, Lower Ince, Wigan WN3 4NH

Allan wanted a quite funeral, so requested no flowers, but donations could be made to the PSP association.

A few words here about Allan from his close friends Steve and Jane Nunn:

As someone new to wood turning when I first met Allan, I didn’t appreciate at first what an honour it was to be taught by him – a time-served turner who was passionate about handing on his skills.
He taught with patience (and then some!) and good humour but with an insistence on correct tool choice and grind, along with turning technique. He inspired me to pass on what I have learned, to help others to enjoy turning, by teaching and demonstrating.
In the process he became a dear family friend, along with his dog Jamie Batty who now lives with us, and we will miss him a lot.

A few words from Stuart Mortimer:

I first got to know Allan Batty during the very early 1990’s when I started demonstrating at the National wood working shows. We became good friends and often worked together at symposiums, exhibitions and teaching venues in the UK and abroad.
He was highly talented, admired and respected throughout the woodturning world and by his peers, he had unique turning skills and not a bad dancer as well. On the Norwegian woodturning cruise he and I danced a version of the Highland fling on board ship on the upper deck somewhere on a Norwegian Fjord.

Ray Key has sent me two recollections of Allan:

Dale Nish was driving Allan, Bonnie Klein and myself to a restaurant at the Utah Seminar some years back, Allan was on a roll telling story after story,
This one that stuck in my mind, when he was young he was a seaman, not sure if Royal or Merchant Navy, anyway after one trip he arrived at his mothers house in the middle of the night.

He knocked on the door but couldn’t raise anyone, so he started throwing stones at the bedroom windows and got a response.
An irate guy opened a window and wondered what the hell he was up to. It transpired his mother had moved house, but hadn’t told Allan!

We were demonstrating together at one of the Axminster Shows some years ago and I had bought some thread chasers, I asked Allen if they were good ones. He said the best on the market but they need an hours grinding before they are usable, he said I would grind them for me but was too busy at the time. I said I didn’t expect him to that, he promptly gave me his DVD and said that will show and tell you all you need to know!

He was a fine fine craftsmen with superb skills.

AWGB AGM Chairman’s address

On Sunday the 24th of April we held our AGM.  It was an excellent day with many positive comments all round.  Here is a copy of the Chairman’s address with some important pieces of news.

Firstly, I’d like to welcome you all to the AGM. Thank you for taking the time to support us.
The last 12 months have been a period of significant change for the Association. I managed to get rid of my Treasurer job to Jeff Belcher – thank you Jeff – and settled into the role of Vice Chairman in September. During that time Andy Coates found that the demands of the AWGB on his personal and work time were becoming excessive and he stepped down as Chairman on the 29th February this year. My fellow Trustees voted for me to take over that role and I must thank them for their confidence.
This triggered a shuffle of jobs with Sam Webber passing Secretarial duties to Mike Glover and moving to the Vice Chairman role.
Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm for these new roles.
I would like to record not only my personal thanks but also those of the AWGB to Andy Coates for his efforts over the last 10 years as an active member of the committee, as a Trustee and for the last three years as Chairman.
“2015 has been a year of successes for the Association. At the last AGM we launched the Let’s Teach Turning training course. This has been widely applauded not only in the UK but also from our colleagues in the States and Australia. I’m delighted to let you know that it is being using in development programmes in both these regions.
Within the UK Peter Bradwick developed an assessment module and we have run several assessment days, increasing the pool of assessors and awarding the AWGB Tutor badge to a number of our members.
Last year we had the Seminar, which proved to be a very successful event in terms of content. Sadly, we didn’t get the numbers we needed to break even and we made a loss of £10,000.
The Seminar is the Jewel in our Crown and widely applauded by all those that go but we felt at the time that proceeding with another Seminar in 2017 on the same basis would deliver the same result. Therefore, we took the opportunity to postpone the Seminar until 2018 and set about a programme of research to find out the views of the membership and search for a new venue.
We contacted fifteen venues and after much analysis we have settled upon Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre which provides value for money, an improved venue experience, effectively everything is under one roof.
Having reviewed the survey results we have moved the date to October and the seminar will be held between the 5th and 7th October 12018 – get that date in your diaries.
We will have an updated programme, starting with Lunch on Friday the 5th and finishing at lunch on the Sunday. We aim to have two presenters from the USA, three from Ireland, three from mainland Europe and two from Britain. On the Saturday evening we have replaced the banquet with an informal dinner followed by presentations and the auction, which pays for our development activities.
In order to make the seminar affordable we have decided to donate £6,000 from the Charity to contribute towards the cost of presenters. This means that we are anticipating a total cost for the Seminar of £425 inclusive of accommodation and meals. Start saving now!
Next year, the AGM will be held at Yarnfield giving you all the opportunity to see the venue at first hand.

Dave Atkinson, AWGB chairman

Turning competitions 2016

The Worshipful company of turners are organising a number of competitions for both junior and adult turners.

Planned entries to the competitions should be registered with the Clerk of the Turners’ Company at the latest on Monday 12 September. Entries can be delivered or posted to the Clerk to arrive no later than Tuesday 4 October. Entries can also be delivered directly to Carpenters’ Hall between 9.30am and 11.30am on Tuesday 11 October.

Judging will take place on Tuesday 11 October 2016

More details and competition rules can be found on the WCT website

We’re here to help!

We received a nice letter from the new Ise and Nene club after we helped them out with some equipment. That’s what we’re here for!

Dear Dave

I am writing on behalf of the Nene Valley Turners Woodturning Club to thank you very much for sponsoring us with the long term loan of a lathe, stand, chuck and accessories and also, for funding the equipment insurance for the first year. We can’t express what a huge help this has been to us; we started with nothing and now we can share this great benefit with all our members.

The numbers of members are growing each month; we are now up to 25 fully paid up members, a great achievement in just six months. We have applied for funding with the National Lottery to obtain some audio-visual equipment. At the moment we have manage to borrow some from various sources.

We have a full programme of turning events booked for the year 2016 and are now looking at 2017 for a great future for the club. Thank you once again.

Yours sincerely

Sue Cattell
Ise & Nene Valley Turners

AFTAB Seminar – Combloux 2016

AFTAB are holding a seminar from April 21st – April 24th with an impressive line up of demonstrators –

Bernard Azema, Jerome Blanc, Cindy Drozda, Viven Grandouiller, J-Paul Fennel, Emmet Kane, Hubert Landri, Catherine Lavier, Art Liestman, Alan Mailland, Elisabeth Mezieres, Stuart Mortimer, Pascal Oudet, Jean-Paul Rossi, Curt Theobald and a few more.

The event is being held in Combloux, France. More details are on the AFTAB website

Change of Officers

Andy Coates has stepped down as a Trustee and Chairman of the AWGB.  Our Articles of Association state that the Chairman and other officers are elected by the Trustees.

The Trustees have voted for Dave Atkinson (formerly Vice Chairman) to take over as Chairman, Sam Webber (formerly Secretary) to become Vice Chairman and Mike Glover (formerly General Trustee) to become Secretary.  These changes take immediate effect.

The AWGB owes Andy a debt of gratitude for over 10 years of dedicated service including the last three as Chairman and it has been a pleasure for all the Trustees, past and present, to work with him.

Branch Meeting

Branch and Members meeting before the AGM

Sunday, 24th April 2016, Oddington Village Hall, Lower Oddington, Stow on the Wold, GL56 0XD

The Trustees of your Association would be delighted to welcome representatives from your Branch to the meeting which starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday 24th April.

The AWGB will pay mileage at the rate of 30p per mile for one vehicle from each Branch.  This is your chance to meet the Trustees before the meeting and over lunch and during the meeting itself to tell us what you think about what we are doing well and areas where you would like to see an improvement.

  • Nigel Fleckney will be in attendance with a selection of fine timbers
  • We have a bring a buy table for you to bring unwanted tools and stock up with different ones
  • You are invited to bring one or two pieces of your best work for display.  The Chairman will pick his favourite and award a small prize.  Subject to your consent the winner will join the travelling exhibition for the next 18 months.
  • And we provide a fine lunch so please let Sam Webber our Secretary know you will be attending so we can arrange the catering.

Lunch is followed by the AGM at 2 p.m.

We look forward to welcoming you and your colleagues at this event.

Are You Giving a Bit?

giving a bit imageDo you shop online? If you do, you could generate donations for the AWGB from many online retailers when you buy from them and it won’t cost you a penny extra! Visit the givingabit website to find out more, select the AWGB as your chosen charity and you can also install their handy forgetmenot widget so your web browser will show you when you visit an online retailer if they are part of the scheme.

AWGB International Seminar

Following our Seminar this year the Trustees have reviewed the  comments by delegates, the suitability of the venue and the Seminar finances.  The Seminar was well received by all who attended but many commented that the site layout at Loughborough meant lots of walking between the accommodation, seminar lecture halls and the lunch facilities.  Sadly we were unable to attract sufficient numbers to break even on the costs and this year the Seminar ran at a significant loss.

Therefore we have decided to review the whole Seminar process.  Accordingly, the next Seminar will not be held until 2018.   We are spending the next few months  investigating alternative venues, costs, possible sponsorship, programme options, and publicity.  We will be asking for opinions from a selection of the membership.  Based on the results of this work we will be in position to start organising the next Seminar around the middle of next year.

If you have any suggestions about how we could improve the Seminar experience, or presenters you would like to see please email Dave Atkinson on