Time to reflect over the last year….
We made the decision at the beginning of the year that this would probably be our last year of doing shows as Clive’s health was not improving. His spinal problem (crumbling disc) has made it very difficult for him to walk although he has no problem sitting or laying and the only problem standing is he becomes a little ‘wobbly’ and can’t hold his balance after a while so has to sit down. By April we then decided that we would retire at the end of the shows etc in November so the search started for a new owner of Timbertop Wheels. However the search was difficult to find just the right person who was prepared to keep the wheels as they were and not tinker with the way they worked No problem if they were to enhance them in some way but using the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t try to mend it!!’ we didn’t want anyone who was not going to abide by that standard. More of this later.
Having announced our pending retirement, it was wonderful to see so many customers go out of their way to visit us one last time at the Tynedale Spinners Gathering, Kennet Valley Guild, Fibre East, Bakewell Wool Gathering, Kendal Wool Gathering and the York Guild. Many bought from us, many reminisced and a number gave us lovely retirement cards and the York Guild decided as it was out last event to give us a cake too. We felt humbled and honoured by so much attention and affection.
2018 also held another surprise for us. In late spring we had a phone call from a company called Ricochet who make a program for BBC TV called The Repair Shop which has been on BBC2 although we had not actually seen it up until then. They take much loved items and restore them for members of the public, which brings back many loving memories.
Well they had spinning wheel that needed restoring and they wondered if we could do it. Unfortunately by then we had actually stopped repairing/restoring wheels that were damaged as we were limited on our time with our pending retirement. However they have a very good antique furniture restorer ‘Will’ who is part of the team and with guidance from us we felt he could probably repair the wheel. we were invited down to Chichester to the Repair Shop to meet Will and the team and give our advice as to how it should be repaired. So on our way to Fibre East we detoured to Chichester and spent an enjoyable afternoon in ‘The Repair Shop going over a number of points that had to be done to repair the wheel and ensure it would be a working model (as they required). Later in September we were asked if we would return to the workshop to see how Will had got on with the wheel and if necessary work on it to ensure it was working. We went along and had a lovely couple of days staying in a hotel nearby and spending a day and a half in the Repair Shop. I will let you know when it is to be shown so you see what happened next and then watch the reveal We felt quite honoured to have added The Repair Shop to our list of happy customers. The program should be going out during 2019, how much of us will be shown we don’t know as we could end up on the cutting room floor!
A couple of photos taken during our visit
Going back to the proposed sale of the business, as many of you know I progressed through the year spending many hours on the phone or writing emails to various interested parties, we thought in October we really had found the right folk and again I spent hours on the phone and many hours preparing a lot of paper work, as they were not only proposing to buy Timbertop Wheels but also the remaining stock of Woodland Turnery and also some of our machinery and equipment. However when we got to December, as we thought we were about to complete the deal they backed out! At that stage we decided enough was enough, we had done all that we could to keep Timbertop Wheels going and we needed to concentrate on our own life!
The remaining stock was put up onto our Folksy shop and then after a couple of weeks the small amount that was left has then been sold onto a Craft shop in Lincolnshire, who expressed interest and is about to go off to them this week as it is all parceled up. The machinery that Clive wasn’t keeping was sorted, cleaned up and then went off to a nearby Auction house with all the spare timber and was all sold yesterday!!
The demo wheels have all been allocated new homes and are in the process of being prepared for dispatch/delivery. With Clive busy finishing off the last Timbertop wheel and some extra bobbins and flyers for the ‘demo’ wheels and also preparing to do the spare bobbins and bits that were ordered earlier in the year.
Just before we finished the year I am pleased to say I had my second cataract operation on 28th November and on 28th December after a post op check up with the optician am surprised and pleased to say that I find that after 59 years of wearing glasses all the time I have been told I only need them for reading now and it is most strange finding I don’t have to wear them from the moment I get up in the morning.
Over the Christmas / New year period. apart from preparing the stuff for Auction, we set to and have now converted the Office back to a bedroom and we have managed to decorate it and lay a carpet between us, with a lot of laughter and Clive promising NOT to do a Bruce Forsythe /Norman Wisdom impression whilst we were wallpapering.
I just have to sort all the stuff that moved out of the office now but even that is progressing with it being either returned to its rightful place in a craft box in bedroom 3 or going to it’s rightful home somewhere else in the house, or into the Pile to got to one or other of our Daughters or Charity shop box or ready to got to the tip.
So what with the sale at the Auction and the subsequent tidy up of the wood shed, my old workshop and Clive’s workshop and the conversion of the office back to a bedroom etc. I can honestly say the next few steps of the new adventure have begun!!!