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Turned out nice again – Martin Hallam, woodturner

martintheturnerMartin is a proud Liverpudlian who was born in that fine city in 1943, but has lived in Milton since 1972. His father was the pioneer Maxillo-facial surgeon who developed the techniques used to reconstruct the faces of injured servicemen; his practical deftness with his hands was remarkable. Martin thinks that if he had followed the same path there would have been a public outcry.

Having, notionally, been educated at Liverpool College, Martin moved to the south of England because he liked sailing, and settled on the Isle of Wight. Having found it necessary to get a job, he joined the police in Hampshire for some ten years, before deciding there was insufficient room for him and the Chief Constable at the same time! Thereafter, he trained for the Probation Service working in West Oxfordshire, Sussex, and London (for five years as head of the probation team in Wormwood Scrubs) before returning to Oxfordshire, and in due course retirement.

Throughout his meanderings, Martin always liked wood. At various times he made shelves, cupboards and the odd sailing dinghy! Facing retirement, he wanted something to do and out of the blue thought of woodturning. On day one, he spent time with a professional woodturner, and came away hooked. Thereafter he made shavings on a daily basis, finding woodturning enthralling, infuriating and satisfying to different degrees.

Woodturners inevitably like wood! The differing qualities of the hundreds of varieties that grow worldwide are a subject of fascination in their own right. Locally grown woods can prove excellent, and many pieces made by Martin first grew in Milton-under-Wychwood…Yew, Boxwood, Walnut and Chestnut to name but a few can be found locally. Pieces commissioned have included a Walnut knob for the gear lever of a vintage Bentley, a box to put Grandad’s ashes in, as well as bowls, platters, goblets and clocks.

Martin has now been turning for many, many years, and his signature piece – cricket stump spare loo roll holders (!) can be found as far afield as New York and New Zealand.
Martin says his skills have not kept pace with his enthusiasm, but he takes pleasure in introducing potential turners to the craft…visitors to his workshop are welcome…but be prepared to be bored to death!!

Editor’s note: Martin’s modesty does not allow him to tell you how good his work is and what an excellent tutor he has proved to be. Martin sells his creations far and wide as well as at local craft shows. Keep an eye out for his work. Oh, and if you are having a tree chopped down, please let him know – there may be something in it for you!

December 2017 – January 2018