Stoneywell by Ernest Gimson

Drawing  "Stoneywell by Ernest Gimson" by Ernest Gimson (died 1919) - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -


Michael Woods, of the East Midlands Group is organising a visit to the newly-opened National Trust property Stoneywell, near Ulverscroft.

This cottage is of great historic significance in the life of architect and furniture designer Ernest Gimson and the Arts and Crafts movement.

The property is small and visits must be booked in advance, so if you would like to join with TATHS members you must contact Michael first. He suggests a weekend visit on 18 or 19 July; if you would like to come but cannot make either date, do still email Michael and suggest alternatives and he will do what he can to accommodate the greatest number.

The tool shop in the village at the Black Country Museum


The 2016 Conference will be held over the weekend of 1-3 April, Friday through to Sunday. (This is the week immediately following Easter, which falls on 27 March.)

The conference hotel will be the Holiday Inn at Walsall and the focus for the conference visits will be the superb Black Country Living Museum. The museum covers a huge site and includes a coal mine, Newcomen steam engine, lime kiln, canal dock, an iron works, historic transport, a fairground, a village street, and many other exhibits, including a rather nice tool shop.

The conference will also include the seventh biennial Mark Rees Memorial Lecture.

Keep these dates free and watch for further news about activities and booking arrangements.

We are delighted to announce that we have recently received a significant donation from the Salaman Family.

Myer Salaman together with other members of the extended family of the late Raphael Salaman have made a generous donation to ensure the longevity of this awards scheme. We can now be confident that research into historic tools and trades will be supported by the society far into the future.

More please!

We would like to invite you too to make a donation to add further to this fund. All donations will be gratefully received, irrespective of how much your budget allows. Research into the history of tools and trades is still offering many opportunities that are yet to be explored and published. Supporting amateur and professional individuals to research and publish material about this wide and fascinating aspect of our heritage is at the core of the Tools and Trades History Society. It is the intention of TATHS, via the Salaman Awards, to publish the results of the research findings of all future recipients of a grant thus making it available to the wider public.

Your donation will help ensure that any successful applicant in future will have all the support that is required for the completion of their intended research. Past recipients have fully used their grants to support study trips, gain photographic material or access specialist advice, equipment etc. Your support will assist in elevating the research of historic tools and trades into the higher position that it deserves.

We look forward to hearing from you - please contact me using the email address below. I will be happy to discuss this proposal further and to receive any donation.

Many thanks,

Jonathan Green-Plumb

Regular readers will have noticed that some of the furniture has been moved about a bit.

In response to feedback I have reduced the number of menus and made the home page give more prominence to the changing activities of the society.

All the familar information is still available; please let me know if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.

The TATHS webmaster

TATHS display

Throughout the year, TATHS members get out and about at some very enjoyable events - country shows, steam fairs, woodland celebrations, that sort of thing. We generally erect a tent and display an assortment of old tools, alongside some of our publications for sale. They are listed on this site, under Future Events.

It's a way of saying to visitors, "These old tools are interesting. Come and have a look and have a natter about them." Many visitors will have a story about a trade their father or grandfather followed. Few can resist the challenge of picking up an intriguing 'watsit' and trying to work out what it was for and how it was used.

If you are thinking of going to any of these events, why not come along as a volunteer on the TATHS stand? You will get in to the event free of charge, you can spend the day chatting about old tools, and you might even learn something yourself, while supporting our charitable objective of educating the general public.

There is always an experienced crew who have enjoyed these events before, but it would be great to get to know some of our newer or shyer members.

So, pick an event near you and contact the organiser mentioned, or email Events Coordinator Mike Rogers on Maybe you have spotted an event near you where a TATHS display would go down well - why not contact Mike and see if we can expand our coverage?


Hand file grinding at Thos Firth c 1900

The manufacture and history of files

Mr Jim Nicholson, one of the few people left in Sheffield who worked in the file cutting trade, will be presenting a talk and slide show on the history of files, to be followed by a question and answer session, at Kelham Island Museum. Mr Nicholson worked for John Bedford's in their Lion Works.

Tuesday 14th JULY 2pm to 3.30pm in the National Fairground Archive, at Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.