High Wycombe Chair Making Museum CIC

                                                                         

We are pleased to announce that we have incorporated our Museum at Companies House.

It is now High Wycombe Chair Making Museum CIC. This means that it is a not for profit company and as such its income is entirely dependant upon entrance fees and kind donations.                          The company objective is to inform visitors about Wycombe’s wonderful chair making heritage.    We explain and demonstrate with old original tools how the Bodger’s, Benchmen and Framers made the Windsor chairs  that are on display

Normal opening hours Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, Closed all day Thursday, Sunday open 12 to 5pm

High Wycombe has a wonderful heritage, the majority of the town and surrounding area  were involved in the production of a recorded 4,700 Windsor chairs per day in 1875!!.

Our guided tour consists of an explanation of the various tools on display with illustrations, exhibits and film of how the ‘Bodgers’ worked in the local Beech woods cutting down the trees, cleaving , shaving and turning the round or turned parts of  the chairs i.e. mainly legs and stretchers.

The Benchmen would make the remaining parts of the chair in wooden sheds and workshops, often in their back gardens.

The Framer was the man that assembled the Bodger and Benchman’s parts and produced the finished chairs.

Example of various Windsor chairs are displayed and explained.

Illustrations are displayed of the customary Chair arches built to commemorate important occasions in High Wycombe such as the visits of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and later Queen Elizabeth.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BROWN ROAD TOURIST SIGNS IN HIGH WYCOMBE DIRECTING TOURIST AND VISITORS STILL POINT TO A DEMOLITION SITE WHERE THE OLD CHAIR MAKING MUSEUM STOOD AND CLOSED SOME 3 YEARS AGO!!!

THE MUSEUM IS NOW LOCATED AT KRAFT VILLAGE, GRAFTON STREET HP12 3AJ

WE RECEIVE MANY COMPLAINTS THAT THE SIGNS HAVE NOT BEEN REDIRECTED. WE APOLOGISE BUT UNFORTUNATELY HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY OVER REDIRECTING THEM AS THEY ARE CONTROLLED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL .

Please add your support to getting these tourist signs redirected. Please add your name and e-mail address for verification to our contact page, thank you.  

New arrivals

We thank and are very grateful to receive and display two very rare miniature chairs in our Chair Making Museum. These chairs were very kindly donated by Miss Mary and Miss Elizabeth Cattell originally from Cuddington and now residing in Haddenham. These excellent sample chairs are believed to date back from the time the old Treacher Warehouse was cleared out and Skulls took over!.

Thank you Stuart

We are pleased to announce that Stuart King has most kindly loaned us ‘a very special lathe’ from his extensive collection.

This treadle lathe has great provenance and belonged to Silas Saunders of Stoke Row.

Silas  was one of the last three Bodgers in Buckinghamshire still working right up to the early 1960′s. The lathe is in excellent condition and now takes pride of place in our Chair Making Museum and is used for demonstrations during our Museum tours.

Our Museum tour normally includes a short demonstrations on the Shave horse, Pole and or Treadle lathe showing how the turned parts of chairs were made.  Besides chairs High Wycombe and surrounding villages is also known for its lace making. 

We now have a South Bucks bolster (pillow) circa 1850 together with a selection of bobbins including the famous South Bucks Thumper. There is an example of South Bucks lace which has a vey fine diagonal mesh, this was a hard pattern to make and so took a lot longer to make than standard lace.

We will be pleased to discuss school, society, club and corporate bookings, these can be tailored to suit individual needs, please send any enquiries using the contact details provided.

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