The Worshipful Company of Turners

Supporting the Craft, City and Charity for over four hundred years

The Bodgers Ball 2017

The Bodgers’ Ball was a fascinating event but not a Ball in any conventional sense. Set in a field, down windy roads, the creative Bodgers set up camp. They travel from all over the UK and further afield, including Canada and Ireland. They arrive with trailers of wood that are pieced together to make the turning lathes. Some use the original poles that are about 10 to 12 foot long, but others use strong bungee elastic cord to power their lathes. Every tent offers a different skill or activity on display. There are several activities that you could get involved with including turning, basket making and leather stamping. Many sell their produce and are keen to explain the techniques used to produce their mix of practical objects and works of art. In addition to being an annual meeting place to catch up with old friends and meet new, there are fiercely fought competition for best chair, stool, bowl, cup and many other categories. Everyone has a chance to vote and even assess the comfortableness of the chair or stool.

Child’s chair in ash with an elm seat, Katie Abbott

Katie Abbott, a liveryman of the Turners, is a keen Bodger and was a founder member of Association of Pole-lathe Turners and Greenwood Workers along with her late husband, Nick. She had a particularly successful year and won three prizes for her beautiful work: a stool; a child’s chair and a cheese board.


Finally there are the most amazing races. Firstly a ‘log to leg’ race where the competitor has to take a log, that you or I would put on a fire, and create two identical turned legs for a chair on their pole lathe. The winner completed the task in just over 8 minutes. The second race was a three legged egg and spoon race having carved the spoon and turned the egg first! The Saturday evening was also a treat with a party set around a huge wood fire singing old folk songs sung by the old and young accompanied by a variety of musical instruments, some having been made by the Bodgers themselves. All in all, an event to participate in.


Mistress Turner

Mrs Jo Neill

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