My father Tony aka OAG bought the Woods …
… in a pub as you do in the mid 1980s as a retirement project and had many happy years planting trees and using knackered old machinery like an Austin Gipsy with an adapted old missile launcher as a crane.
Gradually, he got into selling timber and in 1998 bought himself his first new bit of kit a Lumbermate diesel bandsaw to enable him to cut his own timber. Unfortunately, within a few months he had to retire suddenly due to being dead!
It must have been annoying for him …
… not to get full use out of the saw but more by accident than design I did.
The first 10 years were a steep learning curve as living in London and working full time I wasn’t there much. Gradually I got the hang of finding what people want and most importantly developed a group of helpers all more skilled than me. More of the team later but first below by popular request here’s a picture of me with no clothes on.
Don’t worry I wouldn’t do that to you … you’re going to suffer enough with my timber!
So, senior in years and length of service …
… i.e. the one who has had to put up with me the longest – nearly 15 years is Thursday Dave. Back when he was just Dave he came to buy wood and having just sold his company was worried about being bored in retirement. I offered to help with this and he’s been coming every week since. He’s an engineer and can turn his hand to anything. As well as sawyering he’s built me two woodland toilets, both quite posh and made a beautiful oak 5 bar gate that will outlive us all and loads of other stuff.
Dave created the kids camp drawbridge – works a treat!
When Tuesday Dave came along about 8 years ago …
… we had to name them on the days they come each week – especially as there were several other Daves around.
Tuesday Dave is ex long serving Army, a very useful geezer and he gets things done. Before he came along we had no tea room or anything much and within no time we had casualty evac grid refs and all manner of handy things. Like Thursday he can mend most things but I’d say he’s particularly good at load management – moving timber and logs with Doris the tractor. When we need to turn a big log with straps we shout “DAVE”!
Mike is also a Tuesday man. Mike and Tuesday Dave luckily get on and are something of a team. Whilst Dave also likes woodland stuff and tree felling Mike, a retired Woodwork Teacher is the real expert in wood and what is best so he’s usually the one who reads the log and gets the best boards out of it.
Dave left as you look and Mike right do the majority of the sawyering now
These volunteers are why I can …
… sell timber at a reasonable price and I’d be cattle trucked without them. There are a few other people who come and help for a small fee or a bit of firewood like Smackers and my mate Martin is is currently a super sub but will have a growing role if I’m fortunate enough to be able to carry on for a few years.
Come and meet us … bring all your money or someone elses, we don’t mind!
rgs Paul Goulden