Wood you know?
‘Wood you know?’ explores the local and national history of woodlands, wood, and woodworkers. Was Richard Hine’s great-grandmother correct to recall the time, around 1700, when ‘a squirrel could jump from tree to tree from Horn Park to Langdon’? Why did our ancestors choose particular types of wood for particular purposes? In the ABC of wood-related occupations, what did arkwrights, bodgers and colliers do?
One of the main themes is continuity: how we still have that vital combination today – of living woodland, harvested wood, and people who work with wood – which has been with us since the Stone Age. The exhibition explores which of our local woods are ancient and which more modern. It relates how our ancestors gradually learned how best to use different types of timber. It tells the stories of woodworking families from the Beaminster area. It shows how many of the woodworking traditions are still flourishing nearby today, not least in the work of craftsmen like Beaminster Festival’s very own Ronald Emett. Along the route it meets Geoffrey Chaucer, Robin Hood, Bilbo Baggins and the drunken undertakers of South Perrott.