Ed Robinson's Wooden Things. Chainsaw carvings, sculptures & furniture

Introduction from Sticks In The Memory

I left forestry and the Estate, with its own way of life. Forestry contracting, with its promise of more money, had lured me into an uncertain workplace. The job had its 'ups & downs' and I was to experience them. All of them.

Financial benefits, I soon found out was not proportionate to effort, but the life brought its own, special rewards. I met many of the characters that made the countryside what it was. Sadly they have suffered from the passage of time, and now are scarce.

Townspeople have a hand in, too. They play a different game, but feature occasionally.

Today, the men-of-the-woods have been swept into redundancy by machines, and their operators, that can do the work of fifteen men. Trees are now given a hydraulic thrashing instead of respect. That all goes under the name of progress.

I presently wear the partially extinguished look; my hair has changed to assume the grey, autumn tints of my existence. Thankfully I am not a deciduous type.

Before I leave I had better tell the many tales I have gathered. I feel it is a duty.

The stories I am priviliged to tell have been experienced by me or collected from nearby.

I have presumed that readers have read Falling For It: The Apprenticeship.

Happy reading.






Reviews of Sticks In The Memory

Review by Brian Tilley (Hexham Courant)

Lovers of nostalgia will be delighted to learn that retired forester Ed Robinson has just published the latest volume from his memoirs.

Modern forestry is carried out largely by men sitting in the air-conditioned cabs of harvesting machines so complex they make a jumbo jet cockpit look like that of a 1960s Mini.

Ed, from Warden, goes back to the days when chainsaws were first cutting a swathe through the industry, and he is as entertaining as ever.

He has moved on fro his spell on the Ministeracres estate first mentioned in his opening opus Falling For It: The Apprenticeship.

In the latest book, Sticks In The Memory, he is engaged in tree felling to make way for the Derwent Reservoir, and many other operations which changed the face of Tynedale.

However, it is the larger than life characters that Ed remembers that make the book so fascinating, along with incidents guaranteed to exercise the chuckle muscles.

Early on, he speaks of the decision to get rid of a wasps' nest in a manhole by the judicious use of a half gallon of petrol.

The result was a massive explosion, lost eyebrows and eyelashes - and not a wasp to be seen!

He tells of the savage winter of 1963, when massive tree trunks became little more than giant icicles, spitting lethal chunks of ice when they went to the sawbench.

Then there were the Polish workers who were entrusted with releasing a local fancier's beloved pigeons from a distant land.

He never saw then again; they ate them rather than releasing them!

Then there was the man who fathomed out how to keep a troublesome continental quilt on his bed by attaching a couple of bricks to it.

He slept in the next day, forgot about the bricks, hurled back the covers and sent one of the bricks crashing straight through a mirror.

Fencing and forestry go hand in hand, and Ed tells of a farmer losing his false teeth while bellowing in agony after being hit on the hand by a mell.

It turned out that the teeth were ill-fitting, because they were not the farmers but his mother's!

Characters include the formidable Piggy, a hairy man mountain of well over 20 stone, who caused a party of picnickers to flee from their repast in terror when emerging unexpectedly from the woods, covered in mud.

They thought they had come across the Wild Man of the Woods!

There are frequent clashes with local authorities, know-it-all landowners, unscrupulous bosses, all amongst the ever-present dangers of being seriously injured by one of the forest giants he has to deal with.

For some reason known only to himself, Ed has written the book under the nom-de plume of Geoff Surtees, as he did the first volume.

It is a laugh-out-loud read, and is available from Forum Books in Corbridge, and Cogito Books in Hexham, priced 7.99, or direct from the publishers the Wagtail Press, Gairsheild, Hexhamshire, NE47 0HS.


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