Boys and girls come out to play

Jane and I were at Bingley Show today. We had a new piece of equipment – a blackboard (used by our children about 20 years ago) on a tripod easel ( three birch rods bound with a figure of eight lashing). We simply advertised the fact that we were doing pole lathe demos and that you could have a go. People have been willing to have a go before and got quite addicted. I like doing have-a-goes as it lets me off for a bit.

We nearly got one boy of about 15 years, who seemed to be itching to have a go, but thought he might make a fool of himself and after about 15 minutes left without having cut any wood.

Later four girls about 9 to 13 years old asked to have a go – even though they didn’t know what they could have a go at. I got them splitting logs safely first, I hold the axe, they hit it with a maul, looking for potential dangers when the log finally splits and axe and log parts move around a lot. Then they all had a go on the shave horse and draw knife. This gives Jane the Willies a bit as the blade is sharp and wide. I have a slab of wood on a necklace that hangs in the firing range of the knife and I watch them like a hawk at very close quarters. They all had a good time and then went off to see the lady doing carving to see about carving their names on the wood they’d worked on.

A bit puzzling the difference in attitude between the boy and the girls. I suppose there’s safety in numbers, and maybe he was at an awkward age, but what the heck, men used to be the providers; hunting, making tools and using them. In the UK I think we need to do more to get people more comfortable with using their hands again (and I don’t mean for jabbing at computer keys). Best place to start is with children.

One thought on “Boys and girls come out to play

  1. Wish we’d known you’d be at Bingley, we’d have gone! We went over to Emley instead on Saturday, sigh. I don’t suppose you’re doing Halifax Show next week, are you?

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