Harrogate College Level 3 Joinery students stepped back over one hundred years to experience life in a joiners shop at the turn of the last century.
For the second year running the trip to Gayle Mill near Hawes North Yorkshire was a fascinating insight into working life in the joinery trade.
On arrival the party of students were met at the entrance to the mill and ushered into the museum/meeting room and provided with refreshments and biscuits. As they listened to a in depth account of the history of the Arkwright mill, they were surrounded by traditional old hand tools and country craft equipment, some still in use today.
The mill, which is powered by water from Gayle Beck, has all the woodworking machinery that the students are currently learning about and using in their classes. The most impressive (and frightening), was the huge circular saw used for converting tree trunks into boards.
The various machines including a combination planer, spindle moulder, lathes etc. were demonstrated by the staff at Gayle mill who, pointed out that modern machinery still works on the same principles, but powered by electricity instead of water. (However, no CNC present in the mill).
As well as the machinery the presentation included many stories and anecdotes relating to old woodworking skills and crafts carried out at the mill over more than a century of farm and rural joinery work.
All members of the party enjoyed the visit and agreed it was well worth the journey through the beautiful North Yorkshire Dales countryside.