Anyone lucky enough to have been to one of the special charity days organised by TATHS member Richard Arnold will know that he has hit on a winning formula which has just got better and better over the last three years.

Richard opens his workshop to visitors from TATHS and selected online groups. The workshop is interesting enough, with a wonderful assortment of ancient and modern tools. To this he adds a selection of old tools, for sale for an appropriate donation. Visitors bring more and their generosity is obvious.

There is always an interesting selection of collectors and craftspeople to talk to. This year's guests included plane makers Bill Carter and Oliver Sparks, sawmaker Shane Skelton and old tool exhibitor Andy Brown, so there was no shortage of tools to admire and people to talk to about them. Some very special tools from these and other makers were up for auction by silent bids on the day and on-line.

To restore flagging energy, there was a barbecue running throughout the event and endless supplies of tea, coffee and homemade cake!

Richard showed his own extraordinary collection of eighteenth century woodworking tools and was always willing to demonstrate the finer points of how they were used, live at the bench, proving over and again that tool design only makes sense when the tools are seen at work.

Of course, it wasn't just an event for looking at tools and having a good old natter - it was also raising funds for a very good cause, Macmillan Cancer Support.

In 2014, the event cleared £1000. In 2015, £1500. This year's total is already over £2000 and looks to be significantly higher once all the funds are in. If you want to donate, there's a dedicated Just Giving page you can use.

So, hearty thanks and congratulations to all - see you there in 2017!

Click the image for a slide show


This appeal to all TATHS members is directed at your pockets, and we hope, also to your sense of history.

New on the website in the last few months:

  • The Members' Site is back - you'll need to register, but the library of rare and useful catalogue scans is growing - there's a lot of interesting stuff there.
  • You can add comments to some articles - so don't be shy. If you are a TATHS member, have registered as a user of the site, and are logged in, your comments will appear immediately. Other visitors are welcome to comment, but to avoid spam, their comments need to wait for approval before they appear.
  • Comments are especially welcome in the Whatsits/Queries section. Old and new queries are being restored, so the selection is growing. Many have yet to be identified, so this is your chance to show the breadth and depth of members' knowledge.
  • The selection of Videos has been extended - we try to cover all relevant videos featuring TATHS members, past and present.


Good news and a little bit of admin.

After a bit of extra work that nobody wanted, the popular Members-Only section of the site is back online. Hooray!

In it, we put documents about the conduct of the society, the list of members, and a selection of really useful and interesting historic publications for free download. To get to it, you need to be

  • a paid-up member of the society, and
  • have registered as a user of the website, and
  • been checked as a member to have your account turned on.

Registration is as easy as we can make it - you just need your usual name, a username (nickname), an email address and a password of your own choice.

Once again, the Annual TATHS Conference was a memorable and enjoyable weekend for all the members who were able to attend.

The venue was the splendid Black Country Living Museum, which has so much to see - including a coal mine, lime kilns, live steam, trams, canal boats, and many buildings and workshops from the time when the Midlands were the source of so many useful articles.

Many people will have heard of Ron Geesin through his music. He has had a long and varied career as a performer and composer - some of his best-known work was music for the films The Body and Sunday Bloody Sunday. He also co-composed Pink Floyd’s first ‘gold’ album Atom Heart Mother. More recently he has been a research fellow at the University of Portsmouth, working on the relationship between light and sound.

What is possibly less well known is that having been a member of TATHS for many years, he is also a dedicated collector of adjustable spanners.