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On Saturday 28th March the Anarchist’s Tool Chest built by Chris Schwarz and completed by us was auctioned at David Stanley auctions. Frankly we were as nervous as hell and wanting the best result we could get for Warwickshire College. Bidding began and advanced rapidly but fell just a hair short of the reserve we set (after all we wanted the college to get the maximum benefit for all of the effort that has been put in).

So, we gave the call as to what to do to the college: Either take the money or, receive the chest and all of its contents directly as a donation to the cabinetmaking course at Leamington Spa.

We are delighted to say that the college chose to take the chest as a direct donation. This is great news for them as it means students now have access to a range of hand tools that they would never ordinarily be able to use in an further education college. Jamie Ward (Head of the furniture making course at Warwickshire College) expressed real delight at the chest coming to the college – in fact to the very workshop where it was built.

It means that, as we intended, young and aspiring woodworkers will benefit directly for years to come. Both Warwickshire College and New English Workshop would like to thank Chris Schwarz for all of his efforts in building this chest, every tool maker and distributor who made a donation and, most of all to the students who signed up for one of our courses last year. Without all of you none of this could have happened.

To blow our own trumpet for once: what we have done here is a great example of piling much-needed resource back into the craft so, if you book a place on a woodworking course in 2015 make sure it’s one that does just that. That is exactly what New English Workshop does every time we run a course and it is thanks to the dedication of everyone involved: tutors, toolmakers, distributors and students alike. Thanks to everyone.

  • Paul Mayon & Derek Jones.