High Wycombe Chair Making Museum CIC

                                                                         

To find our Museum follow the Brown Tourist Road signs to :-

Kraftinwood, Kraft Village, Grafton Street, High Wycombe, Bucks.         

HP12 3AJ

 

Please note our normal opening hours:-


Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, Closed all day Thursday, Sunday opening 12 to 5pm.

 

We have incorporated our Museum as a Community Interest Company

It is now High Wycombe Chair Making Museum CIC which means that it is a not for profit company and as such its income is entirely dependent 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 Bodgers, Benchmen and Framers made the Windsor chairs.

We are looking for volunteers to work in our Museum, if you are interested and can spare some time then we would love to hear from you, please contact Robert on 01494 533302 or e-mail us using our contact page.

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 includes an explanation of the various tools on display with illustrations and exhibits showing how the Bodger’s worked in the local Beech woods cutting down the trees,  cleaving, shaving and turning the round or turned parts of a chair 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 Framers assembled the parts from the Bodger and Benchmen to produce the finished chairs.

Various examples of Windsor chairs are displayed and explained.

 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!.

We now have a working treadle lathe which has great provenance and belonged to Silas Saunders of Stoke Row. Silas  was one of the last three Bodger’s in Buckinghamshire still working right up to the early 1960′s. The lathe takes pride of place and can be seen working in our Museum tour .

Whilst not directly linked to chair making we have a South Bucks lace bolster (pillow) circa 1850 together with a selection of bobbins including the famous South Bucks Thumper. These are relevant as most of the ladies began caning and rushing when the chair making became established after years of being exploited lace making. We have an example of South Bucks lace which has a very 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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