Back to the Future
A major donation from the City of Durham Freemen has enabled a groundbreaking community project to plan for the future – by stepping back in time.
A £7,000 grant from the freemen has underpinned ambitious new developments at workshops run by the LionMouth Rural Centre, including the revival of the ancient woodland craft of bodging.
The freemen’s cash injection will pay for a range of tools to extend the capability and range of the centre’s woodworking sessions. They include a pole lathe and shave horse, two key pieces of equipment used by bodgers - craftsmen who once operated in forest workshops transforming green unseasoned wood into chair legs and other furniture parts.
Additionally the money will provide a new cover for one of the horticultural poly-tunnels, landscaping and strengthening vegetable growing terraces and improving a barn where pottery and glass making kilns are sited.
Project manager Brigid Press said: “When we started much of our activity revolved around horticulture and working outdoors. Now we have a large clay and small glass kiln and are experimenting with woodworking ideas and furniture. Ultimately our aim is to be self-sufficient by selling what we produce to the public.”
Chairman of wardens Eric Bulmer, said: “Over the last five years we have provided grants totalling £100,000 to community projects in the city and we feel privileged to have given our help to such a worthwhile organisation.
“Lionmouth’s dedicated staff and volunteers provide a social, learning and caring environment for a vulnerable and often overlooked group within our society. I hope our support will go some way to unlocking the potential of this wonderful site.”