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William Morris Craft Fellows to House the Three Bears at the National Forest Wood Fair

Wednesday, 18th August 2010

Eddie Crane of Timber Framing and Conservation based in Leicestershire, invited the current William Morris Craft Fellows to work on the timber frame for the Three Bears Cottage, part of the One Oak project for the National Forest Wood Fair taking place on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Eddie Crane, a former Fellow himself, said: ‘This year’s Fellows spent the day working in the workshop, cutting mortice and tenon joints and learning about the scribe rule, a traditional building method that has been used since medieval times.

‘We are constructing a scaled version of a cottage to demonstrate how a building can be made from a timber frame and finished with oak cladding to the walls.  All the timber comes from one oak tree that was taken down in The National Forest, and other craftspeople will be making the furniture and flooring to go in the cottage – even the three bears themselves.

‘The One Oak project is a great way to show just what can be made from a single tree, and a brilliant opportunity for the Fellows to develop their traditional timber framing skills with real hands-on experience.’

The William Morris Craft Fellowship is a unique training scheme developed by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in 1987.  The aim of the scheme is to foster a new generation of outstanding craftsmen and women with knowledge and expertise of working with historic buildings and materials.

Kate Griffin, spokesperson for SPAB, said:  ‘Interest in craft building skills is steadily increasing as people turn to more sustainable and traditional methods of construction. Yet, ironically, these same skills are under threat as fewer young people are encouraged to pursue careers in these areas.

‘But now, each year, a handful of young (and not so young) people already skilled in particular crafts are given the opportunity to visit projects and workshops all over the country, and to work with skilled craftsmen and women who have already established careers in the field.

‘The aim is for the new crop of SPAB Fellows to gain broad, hands-on experience and the skills necessary to lead and manage historic building contracts, while deepening their understanding of the importance of gentle repair.’

The Three Bears Cottage will be on display in The National Forest marquee at the National Forest Wood Fair to be held on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August.  Set in the stunning landscape of Beacon Hill Country Park, the Wood Fair will have live demonstrations, traditional woodland crafts to try, tasty local food, as well as a charity auction, lumberjack show and information on trees and woodland.

To download a copy of The National Forest Wood Fair leaflet click here or visit the website

To find out more about SPAB visit