Trivia

Chips off the chisel. Tool trivia, historic gems and random ramblings from the creative cranium of Goodlife Centre founder and DIY historian, Alison Winfield-Chislett.

Have a go – The new face of fixing

The fueling of our society as consumers (as in ’consumed by fire’) was always linked to Built In or Planned Obsolescence which was linked to the ‘consume more’ economic cycle. It originally had a very worthy intention as expressed in a 1932 pamphlet by Russian–American real estate broker Bernard London…

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Wroughting and Wrighting. In praise of hand skills.

I was glad that Sir Christopher Frayling talked about the ‘3 Rs’ at the Heritage Craft Association conference at the V and A last weekend as he mentioned the origins of the ‘Reading, Writing and Arithmetic’ trio used to identify a balanced education. These three now just describe Literacy and…

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A class full of three legged stools

Wood rules. Alice Rees is an impressive woman. My childhood fears of having a meeting with a deputy headmistress were dispelled the minute Alice walked into The Goodlife Centre. Alice wanted us to teach a class of 10 year olds woodwork.  She has great expectations of her year 6 pupils…

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Chippies fight for their right to woodwork

Image: A wall panel from Carpenter’s Hall, London. I am sometimes asked about the differences between carpentry, joinery and cabinet making.  The origins of the demarcations go a long way back. Back in the day, if I was a carpenter, I would be making timber frame work on a building. In…

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ucl museums visit The Goodlife Centre

A Workshop for University College London Museums Department

We were a bit excited when the museums department of University College London contacted us asking for a workshop for their curators to improve their shelf hanging and general fixing abilities. For those of you who have been introduced, you will know that the founder of UCL, Jeremy Bentham, a…

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Innocent Inspiration from The Prince’s ‘Seeing is Believing’.

We had a fabulous time when we hosted an event for Prince Charles’ Seeing is Believing’ programme recently. Established in 1990 by HRH The Prince of Wales, the programme is now a recognised responsible leadership network counting over 8,000 alumni and hundreds of participants every year. Twenty leaders of  High Growth…

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Winston Churchill

Where to Begin?

For any of you that faff about, procrastinate and generally avoid knowing where to begin a creative project, Sir Winston Churchill, unlikely though it may seem, offers some words of encouragement. Besides being Prime Minister during WW2 and a few other gigs, Churchill liked to chill by creating oil paintings of…

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Wills Trading Cars - 19 Laying Linoleum

Wills Trading Cards #19: Laying Linoleum

During the 1930s, the tobacco company W.D and H.O.Wills gave away colourful and entertaining collectors ‘cigarette trade cards’ in packets of their cigarettes. ‘Household hints’ was issued several times, in slightly different editions from 1930 to 1939. Some of the ideas look antiquated and redundant but occasionally there are forgotten…

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Wills Trading Cards #18: Laying a Tiled Hearth

During the 1930s, the tobacco company W.D and H.O.Wills gave away colourful and entertaining collectors ‘cigarette trade cards’ in packets of their cigarettes. ‘Household hints’ was issued several times, in slightly different editions from 1930 to 1939. Some of the ideas look antiquated and redundant but occasionally there are forgotten…

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Strengthening an Old Garden Seat

Wills Trading Cards #17: Strengthening an Old Garden Seat

During the 1930s, the tobacco company W.D and H.O.Wills gave away colourful and entertaining collectors ‘cigarette trade cards’ in packets of their cigarettes. ‘Household hints’ was issued several times, in slightly different editions from 1930 to 1939. Some of the ideas look antiquated and redundant but occasionally there are forgotten…

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