Woodcraft competitions at the Melplash Show

Woodcraft Chairman, Peter Wheeler
Woodcraft Chairman, Peter Wheeler

For many years Mr Roger Ffooks organised and ran the woodcraft section at the Melplash Show.   Sadly he passed away just after the Show in 2015.    The Melplash Agricultural Society now welcomes the new Chairman of the Woodcraft Section, Peter Wheeler from Beaminster.  Peter, an engineer by trade, has always had an interest in woodwork and when he retired 13 years ago was able to spend more time on developing and fine tuning his woodworking skills, which include wood turning, wood carving, marquetry and stick making.   For the past 8 years he has been entering items into the various woodcraft classes at the show.  He has been a member of the Mosterton Marquetry Group, is a member of Axminster Wood Turners and formed the Hants and Dorset Stick Makers Club in 1995 where he is still a member.   When living in Ringwood he also taught woodcarving at evening classes.

Peter is very keen to encourage more people, particularly the young to get involved in woodcraft.  As well as the usual competition classes he has introduced a new up-cycling competition, which he is calling ‘The Pallet Project’.   This class is open to everyone, in particular those people with limited woodworking skills.  Very few tools are needed – a handsaw, rule, hammer and some nails will suffice plus your own ideas.   Material can be used as found eg. packing crate boxes, pallets, fencing or broken furniture etc.    Peter has been busy making items himself to show visitors what can be achieved.  These products will be available to buy on the day by making a donation to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

In the woodcraft marquee alongside the competition classes Peter has invited several new exhibitors to come along to demonstrate a variety of different wood crafts.  These include a Pole Lathe Turner, a Besom Broom Maker, a Stick Maker , Chair Caning, Marquetry and Pyrography.

Peter Wheeler commented “If you have an interest in any woodworking activity, or derive pleasure from wood crafted objects please do visit us in the Woodcraft Marquee at that this year’s Melplash Show…..we may be able to persuade you to learn a new skill and/or become a member of one of our Clubs.  Please also consider entering your own woodcraft items into the competition classes.  The schedule is available from the Show office or can be viewed online.