Saturday, 26 May 2012

Morgan car factory visit

I just found these photos from a great tour of the Morgan car factory last year, hope you enjoy them as much as I did the tour. Looking down on the back wheel of the new 3 wheeler.

and from the front, can't beat a big V twin engine.
 I quite liked the WW11 fighter style paintjob

 parked outside was Charles Morgan's personal aero 8

 We started the tour with a walk through the museum to give us a taste of the history of the company, set up by Charles Morgan's Grandfather in 1910

Then into the first workshops where they put together chassis and engine.

 Next the bodywork shop, lots of handwork here, just like it used to be done.

 Bodywork is still all supported on ash frames, is this the 21st century?

 These guys were using the lovely fly press to put the vents into a bonnet.

 The finished bonnet

 bodywork fitted to chassis

 cutting out and fitting body panels by hand.

into the woodwork shop 
 Finishing a dashboard with a spokeshave

 These are laminated wheel arches/mudguards

 and the clamp for laminating them.

 lots of handwork on finishing

 into the spray booth, all by hand of course, not a robot in sight.

now our tour gets to the fitting room where all the leather and upholstery is added.
 again everything is made from scratch in this room and skilfully tweaked to fit by hand.

 fitting seat belts and steering wheels.

 apprentice work, a final polish.

 I would love to own one. Our vicar used to race a supercharged Morgan and has a lovely original 3 wheeler which I have driven, it was surprisingly swift and agile for a 80 year old car and everywhere you go in one people grin and wave.

and if you can't afford a Morgan how about buying a raffle ticket with a chance to win one whilst also supporting a great charity? Morgan donated a 3 wheeler to the Horse Loggers Trust get your tix here

Monday, 14 May 2012

Balvenie Masters of Craft

Launched in 2011, The Balvenie Masters of Craft is designed to celebrate the varied range of handcrafted skills that are currently thriving across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Craftsmanship is at the heart of everything that goes into making The Balvenie and, as the most handcrafted Single Malt Scotch Whisky it is in a unique position to showcase the skills, dedication and passion that are needed to be a craftsperson in today’s world.
The Balvenie Masters of Craft features ten categories, including two new additions for 2012. The search for talented craftspeople who work with Wood, Glass & Ceramics, Metal, Leather, Textiles and Stone will be open along with, for the first time, people who produce handcrafted, artisan Food.
HCA chair Robin Wood is again on the judging panel alongside Kevin McCloud and is keen for as many HCA members to enter as possible. 


Alongside the returning ‘Young Master of Craft’ award, open to craftspeople between the ages of 21 and 30, and the ‘The Balvenie Master of Craft’ award comes the new ‘David Stewart Life Time Achievement’ award - a special award dedicated to, and judged by David Stewart, The Balvenie Malt Master who is this year celebrating an unprecedented 50 years at The Balvenie. The award is open to craftspeople that have a proven longevity and expertise in their craft.   

On the return of the awards, David Stewart, the whisky industry’s longest serving Malt Master said: “At The Balvenie Distillery we are lucky enough to have a team of highly skilled craftspeople on site, from the farmers who grow our barley to our team of malt men, coppersmiths and coopers. Their talent and dedication to their craft goes into every drop of The Balvenie that we produce.” 

“The UK is and always has been a hive of craft and we know that there are pockets of traditional and handmade skills being practised all over the country. It is these fellow craftspeople we want to find and celebrate through the campaign.” 

On being asked to judge the awards for a second year, TV presenter and author Kevin McCloud said: “It is an honour to be returning as a judge of The Balvenie Masters Of Craft, last years’ awards were a great success with some extremely well deserved winners.” 

“Being a master craftsperson takes years of training, hard work and dedication, I am extremely excited to see this years’ entries.”

Award Categories
There are seven individual craft categories and we will award a ‘Best in Category’ for each. From these entries, we will appoint an overall Master of Craft award.  

  • Category 1: Stone
  • Category 2: Wood
  • Category 3: Metal
  • Category 4: Glass and Ceramics
  • Category 5: Textiles
  • Category 6: Leather
  • Category 7: Food 
  • Category 8: Young Master of Craft (open to craftspeople between the ages of 21 and 30 years old)
  • Category 9: The David Stewart Life Time Achievement Award (open to craftspeople that have a proven longevity and expertise in their craft.  )
  • Category 10: The Balvenie Master Of Craft 2012
The awards are supported by The Sunday Telegraph so ensure good publicity launch article here

For more information on the campaign, or to nominate a craftsperson visit: