Chair Bodging and Chair Making in the Chiltern Hills

1934 - 1935 , Chiltern Hills (Buckinghamshire)

The production of wooden components for chairs and chair-making in the Chiltern Hills in the 1930s.

The production of components for chairs is compared and contrasted at three locations in the Chiltern Hills. The film begins with the traditional activities of bodgers in beech woods, moves on to record the activities in a small workshop in Turville and concludes with shots of a mechanised form of a production in a modern countryside factory, including chair assembly. Scenes include: bodgers at work in the countryside, cutting and shaping components for chairs, collecting water from beech trees for use in production and brewing tea over an open fire; activities in a small workshop in Turville, workers cut wood by hand and with a power saw and shape components for chairs; workers in a mechanised country factory cut wood with the aid of machinery, but shape it and assemble chairs by hand. Shots with the bodgers in the beech wood include: bodgers cut a tree trunk; carry parts of the trunk to the work area; the wood is split and shaped by hand; bodger uses a pole lathe to turn the wood; water drained from beech trees is collected in a bucket and used on a grindstone to sharpen hand tools; turned wood is collected and stacked; wood shavings are used in an open fire, the bodgers sit around it and water is brewed for tea. Shots in the small workshop in Turville include: workers cutting a tree trunk and splitting wood by hand; carrying it into a small workshop, where it is cut with the assistance of a power saw; the wood is then shaped by hand and with a treadle lathe. Shots in the mechanised workshop include: wood to be used as the chair seat is cut and shaped with the assistance of powered machinery; components are cut to correct lengths with the assistance of machinery; wood is cut by hand and intricate designs are shaped by hand; chairs are assembled by hand.

Featured Buildings

Church of St Mary, Turville

Keywords

Crafts; Furniture-making; Chair bodging; Chair making; Traditional production methods; Mechanised production processes; Woodwork; Craftsmanship

Intertitles

The last of the bodgers still ply their ancient craft deep in remote beechwoods Timber, bought at annual auction, is cut, split, shaped and turned into parts needed by the chairmakers Moisture from the weather side of the beech trunks is led into a bucket for the grindstone In a wooded valley lies Turville A village of woodworkers Turned chair-parts are produced in tiny workshops occasionally equipped with a power saw or lathe Eighty years old – and still at his lathe treadle! Chairs are completed in this countryside factory. More mechanised, it still has a use for craftsmen The End

Other Places

Speen [possibly]; Turville; [Amersham possibly]

Background Information

There is a version of this film with a commentary on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP5_OJxNccY Could the commentary be by Mr Alliott who made the film?

Manifestations

Chair Bodging and Chair Making in the Chiltern Hills

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    INV321174
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:11:23
    Modification Date
    26/09/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    728617
  • Barcode
    INV340727
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
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    Dimension
    Duration
    0:11:23
    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Barcode
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    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:11:23
    Modification Date
    26/09/2011
    Parts
    Reference
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  • Barcode
    INV353250
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DV digital
    Dimension
    Duration
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
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    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
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    Dimension
    Duration
    0:07:17
    Modification Date
    13/06/2011
    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV227710
    Canonical Identifier
    61
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour System
    Dufaycolor
    Colour Type
    colour+bw
    Digital Assets
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:37:30
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    N
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    pos
    Modification Date
    11/08/2010
    Parts
    Reference
    686607
    Sound
    silent
  • Award:
    • Group 1:
      • Note: Awards (data migration 25/06/2021): Royal Photographic Society Exhibition of Kinematography Film Competition, Certificate Class I, 1935.

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