Category Archives: Put the kettle on

BGO Wedding Services

As many of the followers of this blog will already know, Heidi and I got married on a very happy day last September. As you may imagine, it was a very handmade affair, but not just on my part. We had a lot of invaluable help from many friends and family to make it a personal, memorable, and at times moving day.

The largest (by far) of the handmade details was this green oak arch, under which the marriage ceremony was held.

Wedding Arch 5 S

Now the dust has settled we have launched a new wedding services page on the BGO website. From where you can find out more about hiring the arch for your own wedding ceremony.

Wedding Arch‘Father’ Mike taking us through our vows

I can’t recommend an outdoor ceremony highly enough. It gives you so much freedom to make it your own and do exactly what YOU feel is important.

Planning a wedding is not for the faint hearted, especially if you want to make your wedding stand out and be a true representation of yourselves. Now knowing just how hard this is we are also offering bespoke wedding detail and decoration services. For example bespoke cedar shingle bunting or hand painted oak table name signs.

Bunting 1e

Handmade cedar shingle bunting, using eco-friendly paint

Table names 1e

Hand painted table name signs

If you’re planning a wedding, or know someone who is, we’d love to help make it as happy and memorable as ours was. Email us now to discuss your ideas.


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New Art & Craft Gallery comes to Romsey

Romsey is to be home to a brand new Art and Craft Gallery called Rum’s Eg (from the Old English name for Romsey). But this will be a gallery with a difference… it wont make any profit! It is to be a ‘not for profit’ venture, run by the newly established Hampshire Art & Craft Community Interest Company. Once up and running the takings will be used to help local charities and organisations in the community. In the meantime they will be used to fund the on going development of 27 Bell Street, the 3 storey listed building in which Rum’s Eg has taken up residence.

rums eg logo

The ground floor of Rum’s Eg will be open for a Christmas exhibition, offering an opportunity to buy unusual and exquisite gifts from a selection of Hampshire’s finest artists and makers. The exhibition will run from this Thursday 6th, through to Saturday 22nd of December. After which it will be closing until February 2013, to allow the refurbishment of of the first floor cafe and the second floor workshops to be completed.

A5 christmas posterIf you do manage to make it down to Rum’s Eg for this special Christmas opening you will see one of my green oak beam and glass coffee tables as well as some of my smaller, stocking filler, gift items like my oak tealight holders and the BGO Natural bird boxes. You can find more information about Rum’s Eg and the Hampshire Art & Craft CIC, including ways you can help this exciting new venture, on their website.

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Top Dog / Underdog

I wanted to share with you, what I thought was some, Stephen Fry – QI style, wood related trivia. That is that the terms Top Dog and Underdog have their origins in the old school method of cutting planks from a log!

When I started re-researching, (as I can’t remember where I heard it from) some quick googling soon suggested that this, wood related, explanation of the origins of Top Dog and Underdog, might, in fact, be fictitious! So apologies to the people who I have already misled with this apparent true fact! Whilst I am clearly not an Etymologist, I do quite like the woody explanation to their origins and anyway it’s interesting to learn how wood was cut back in the day! So here goes…

To convert large round logs into squared planks and boards, without some sort of machine, you will need a big saw and a lot of muscle power! Back in the day, when big machines weren’t around, logs were placed over a saw pit, with one chap (the ‘Underdog’) stood in the bottom of the pit and another (the ‘Top Dog’) stood on top of the log, they each held onto one end of the big saw, and away they went!

This photo is from a fantastic book, “Woodland Crafts In Britain” by H.L. Edlin. Published by B.T. Batsford Ltd in 1949. – isn’t eBay brilliant!

The big scary saw had a T-shaped upper handle, suitably called the tiller, as the chap stood on top had the job of steering the saw in a straight line. While the poor fellow underneath was subjected to a constant rain of sawdust and the apparent risk of the log falling on top of him!

It appears that the more realistic origin of these terms comes from the sport of dog fighting. Even my book refers to the men working the saw pit as the top sawyer and the pitman. Nevertheless it is fascinating to learn how planks were won from round logs and to realise just how easy we have it nowadays!


Filed under Put the kettle on

New Year – New Blog

Happy New Year to everyone and a very warm welcome to my new blog!

Why set up a blog? Good question. And one that I have been using to justify its neglected presence on my to do list for so long!

Well I’ve finally come round to the benefits of keeping a blog. I’m hoping this blog will complement my website and make it easier for people to keep up to date with what’s going on in BGO’s workshop. I’m also hoping that the blog will be a more informal place for me to share news, photo’s and general musings on all things woody. And hopefully get comment and feedback from all you good people out there.

So please feel free to pop back every now and then to catch up with the latest goings on, or why not sign up to receive email notifications of new blog posts by clicking on the follow button at the top right of the screen.

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Filed under Put the kettle on