St Luke's Hospice - Gala Day

12 June 2010

Last year’s Club Challenge was so successful in raising money for our adopted charity that we decided to repeat the idea again this year. A different shaped piece of wood this year, again supplied by Steve Wright from Elston Sawmill, provided inspiration to many participants.

The variety of finished products is amazing - see pictures above - with club members spending many hours to craft something unusual. All these items will be sold for St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield.

As always Sheffield Woodturning club supports local charities, and this year’s chosen charity is St Luke’s Hospice. St Luke’s contacted us and asked if we would take part in their annual gala. So with the promise of a marquee for us to set up a display and our lathe, we agreed to join in and help them out.

We arrived early on a breezy but bright Saturday morning to find our promised marquee was in fact an open sided gazebo pitched on a severe uneven slope. The troops rallied round and with the help of a couple of St Luke’s ground staff a couple of sides were found and attached to the gazebo. Tables were set up and despite a defective spirit level, the team of club members put on a varied and visually stunning display of members’ turnings and a section of the display was dedicated to items turned by club members and items donated by visiting professional demonstrators specifically for St Luke’s. This was our first opportunity to sell the items turned as part of the club challenge.

With the smell of Hog Roast in the air, the breeze strengthened to such an extent that it managed to dislodge a few turnings from the top shelf; it was due only to the lightning fast reactions of a couple of club members that they managed to catch most of them and a disaster was averted.

The sun came out and a steady flow of customers passed through and watched on as members turned light pulls and spinners on the lathe.

Les and Louise manned the sales desk and gave lessons in the art of spinning tops that resulted in sale after sale of spinning tops and light pulls, all kindly donated by club members boosting the St Luke’s takings considerably. Adults reminisced and children of all ages discovered the joy of spinning a top; “the simple things in life are often the most enjoyable”

Eventually the time came to pack things away and sweep up the shavings. And once that was done a minute was taken to compare the varying degree of sunburn of more than one of our members.

The event lasted from 1 o’clock until 4 and in just three hours of trading we managed to raise a total of £145.50  for St Luke’s , of which £56 was from the sales of the spinning tops and light pulls and has been sent to St Luke’s in advance of our main fundraising amount, which we will present to them next year, see photos here.