: -----Original Message-----
: From: oldtools-bounces@r...
: [mailto:oldtools-bounces@r...]On Behalf Of Stephen Noe
: Sent: 05 June 2008 00:14
: To: Dennis Heyza
: Cc: Oldtools List
: Subject: Re: [OldTools] sad day
: I have a few issues of Good Woodworking - Jeff's magazine Paddy -
: from 1998, and John Brown's column was the second reason for buying
: them. Sorry to hear of his passing.
I met John at the then-editor's home and subsequently enjoyed some exchange
of letters and photos, being gently rebuked for using a computer to type my
letters. His were written in a very careful Victorian copperplate wrtitten
with, presumably, a steel nib. Behind me in my office is a Welsh chair photo
he sent, complete with workshop clutter in the background. I recall asking
him about hand mortising machines and was rewarded with a photo of a
'thumper' he owned. I was reassured and gratified when he approved of my ash
chair at http://www.amgron.clara.net/projects/Chairs/TomSuttonChair.htm.
At the time we were in contact, he insisted on hand-shaping his rail and
spindles, though he showed interest when I sent him some details of my
shop-made rounders and trap. I've an idea that he subsequently relented and
might have used them (ie rounders, not necessarily mine) though I don't
recall whether this was from a reliable source.
Readers of his book will know how he celebrated his Welshness, yet on
meeting him I was very surprised to hear a strong Kentish (ie southern
England) accent - gained I assume, when he worked in Kent as a boatbuilder.
Being very strong minded he once told me that he was going to decline an
invitation to work on the magazine stand at a woodwork show because he did
not want to be patronised by document-case carrying twirps in suits and
It is very saddening to know of our loss of a valuable resource - it is a
pity he never adopted computers because otherwise we might have enjoyed his
company, but then we all know how much time they can take up.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
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