Archive for September, 2009

Doors-Open-Day Weekend

September 28, 2009

This was a tremendous success.  We were inundated, “stowed out”, (sp?)  with visitors both days and I can only apologize that we were not able to give all of you the attention we would have liked.

Those of you who took photos, please send them as comments to this blog or email them.

Thank you for the “tea and coffee” donations towards my daughter Catherine’s forthcoming voluntary work in India. We collected nearly forty squids. Special thanks to the lady who used to come and sit in Gogar Kirkyard back in the seventies (before my time) just because ” it was a good place to sit”. Come back and see us soon, its still a good place to sit.


It’s all happening at once

September 13, 2009

We have a busy period starting at the end of September.

First of all,

Edinburgh Doors-Open-Day 2009

The event this year is being held over the weekend of 26th & 27th Sept and our building will be open to visitors between 11.00 & 5.00 on the Saturday and noon & 4.00 on the Sunday. As well as the church itself, a listed building, and its graveyard’s interesting inhabitants, the interior provides a fine (and increasingly rare) example of a traditional cabinetmaking workshop; finished pieces and work in progress will be on show. One guy who dropped by recently described it as, “my favourite Edinburgh’s-best–kept-secret”.

Originally linked to Holyrood Abbey, references to Gogar as a religious site date back nearly a thousand years. The present building dates from 1890 (tower and porch added 1901) but incorporates at its S end the remains of a small pre-reformation chapel.  The last church service was held in 1955 and the building has been used as a cabinetmaking workshop specialising in the production of quality furniture in native hardwoods since 1979.

1890An engraving from 1890 showing the building as it was projected.  There are detailed differences from what was actually built, most notably the pitched roof to the tower.  This never materialized.  Perhaps they ran out of money? (or very possibly energy, since it was largely constructed by the congregation in their spare time).

With RBS having developed the former Gogarburn Hospital across the road as its new global headquarters and the tramline to the airport in the process of wrapping itself round two and a half sides of the graveyard, Gogar Church is the last building left standing in its vicinity. As the Environmental Statement commissioned by TIE (the tramline company) itself puts it (Vol. 1,section 5.6 pp6/7):-

“the long term impacts on it (i.e Gogar Church) are considered significant and adverse”

As I said in my original letter of objection to parliament, this is not made any better by knowing that

”the effects (of the tramline) on listed buildings would be significant only in relation to Gogar church”  (ibid p9).

It is therefore important that Edinburgh be aware of this precious relic, “put under the care of Corstorphine Kirk for all time coming” in 1602 and does everything possible to preserve the amenity of its setting.

Anyway, come and see how we are getting along in these circumstances and then visit the:-

Scottish Furniture Maker’s Annual Exhibition

Immediately after doors open day weekend, we transfer our attention to the annual Scottish Furniture Makers’ exhibition this year being held for one week in Greyfriar’s Kirk Edinburgh (Tuesday 29th Sept to Saturday 3rd Oct) and then transfering to Princes Square,Glasgow (Tuesday 6th Oct to Saturday 11th Oct).  Open daily 10.00am to 6.00pm both venues. More details on the association’s website


Console table and two chairs which I will be showing in SFMA exhibition.

And finally:-

Wych Elm Project Exhibition, opens 7th October

To complicate matters somewhat, between these latter two venues the long-awaited Wych Elm Project exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens  Edinburgh opens on to the public on the 7th Oct. Along with some two dozen makers who have produced work from the one Wych Elm, I will be showing my “Edinburgh Cabinet”, the  front of which is sculpted to give an impression of the Edinburgh skyline as the tree itself might have looked upon it from the Botanic Gardens in its maturity. The “Acheivement Tree” community project Sharon Kirby and myself did with the kids at Kaimes School will also feature in this exhibition.


This is a sneak preview of the cabinet, its front as yet incomplete, which will be on show at our open days, at the first (Edinburgh) sfma exhibition and thereafter at the Botanics.