News & 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.

Wills Trading Cards #1: A Simple Barometer

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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10 Reasons to Learn Something New Everyday

Enhance your quality of life. Learning provides you with an escape when you need it, knowledge when you seek it, and a great pastime. Reduce stress. A new hobby can be a great stress reliever. It helps us break out of our normal patterns of behaviour  It gives our brains something to…

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Basic Tiling at The Goodlife Centre

Review: Basic Tiling

From time to time we ask our learners to review our workshops. Read Adanma Wokoh’s critique of Basic Tiling. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn something new, so when I saw that the Goodlife Centre was offering the chance to learn how to tile I jumped at it….

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Linen Tassel Making

Review: Linen Tassels

From time to time we ask our learners to review our workshops. Read Lucy Wadley’s critique of Linen Tassel Making. Like many people, I had not really considered how tassels were made by hand until I enrolled on the two day tassel workshop at The Good Life Centre.  I’ve been to…

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Basket Making

Review: Basket Making

From time to time we ask our learners to review our workshops. Read Georgina Dawkins critique of Basket Making. As I left the house on Saturday morning my other half said to me “So will you be coming home with a basket made of reeds then?”  Not being a naturally patient…

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Review: Upholster a Deep Buttoned Footstool

From time to time we ask our learners to review our workshops. Read Lucy Wadley’s warts and all critique of Upholster a Deep Buttoned Footstool. I have always been keen to add new crafty feather’s to my cap and was thrilled when my husband signed my up to the ‘Upholster…

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Meditation Bench Building for Veterans

Bench Building Veterans

In the middle of a busy week, I received a call from the MOD, which was somewhat of a surprise. Could they book a private workshop for a small group of ex homeless service veterans to make something amazing with wood at the centre? Oh and it needed to be…

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Carpentry Craftsmen

Getting Lost in Time

I loved this photo of the Carpentry class in Kilburn Lane Higher grade school from the early twentieth century. Of course, the gruff teachers with handsome moustaches and old fashioned block planes caught my eye, but it was part of the caption that stayed in my mind. The last sentence…

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Rush Basket Making at The Goodlife Centre

First Look at Basket Making

Our second studio was strewn with long rushes on Saturday Morning, as expert and passionate tutor, Claire Murphy laid out everything we would need to begin making an elegant bread basket. The room smelt of a country walk and as the rush was misted to keep its moist pliability, the…

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The history of the humble rawlplug

Small but perfectly formed

Ninety years ago a small fixing problem in the British Museum is said to have led to founding of the Rawlplug Company Limited – the world first fixing company. The Museum needed electrical fittings fixed to walls unobtrusively and without causing damage to the masonry. This was difficult using the…

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