Sometimes you just HAVE to buy something, even when you don’t need it! For me it’s “another” flower vase slightly different from all the others! For Stuart it was a tonne (literally!) of centurys old oak!
He spotted these mighty beasts about 3 years ago at Rennew, in nearby Grindle and instantly fell in love with the character and beauty of the grain. He didn’t know what he would use them for, or when, but he felt compelled to make that purchase!
Rough & ready pile of wood, how they sat for 3 years until there moment to shine was created!
Fast forward 3 years. We now have plans to transform the Brasserie to The Garden Room. Food and garden artwork from Sylvia Phillips collection will adorn the walls, rehung by the fabulous Mary Elliot, owner of Twenty Twenty Art Gallery in Much Wenlock. Henry & Denise our Gardener are transforming a messy cupboard in to a living wall. There will be lots of little touches to lighten and freshen it up.
But the table weren’t fitting the bill at all, with lovely sewing machine bases but dull and slightly too small tops Then Stuart remembered his pile of oak – still sitting at Rennew.
He hot footed it down to see Graham Manton, Estate Manager for Apley, who very handily happen to have a saw mill in the village, about 300 yards away from The Hundred House! It was agreed that they could indeed divide these HUGE beams into 1 1/2 inch thick planks and the next call was to Joiner Extraordinaire – Matt Allen.
Matt’s been responsible for several Hundred House projects and it was whilst creating the panelled library in Henrys Cottage, he found true love with our Hotel Manager at the time – Netty. After a break away Netty is back at the helm 3 nights a week and Matt has been given the task of making this beautiful wood in to beautiful tables!
So the journey ensues to Apley Mill Sawmill man, Alan must of thought we were mad!
“You’re having a laugh aren’t you Stuart? That thing through the Mill?!”
They had to be jet washed to try and remove some of the dirt and grit before going through the Saw,
Super Simon & Valdek blasting the beams
Then the moment of truth – can it be done?
Well, the sides came off – now looking a lot better than “old swampy”!
Alan I’m sure cursed more than once whilst pushing these through “they’ve been an absolute swine – God knows how old they are, it’s some of the hardest wood I’ve ever come across and I’ve gone through 4 blades already, we’ve had to order more!”
Hooray! Here’s the “unfinished – finished article” – well done Alan, we knew you could do it!
Still plenty of work to do on them before you’re eating Shropshire’s finest steaks off them – but certainly a very good start!
These are by no means going to be low-cost tables – but they will be strikingly handsome and who knows, around for another few hundred years yet!