3 November 2015



bark with pens on it

Dead wood made good

In a recent post on this blog I wrote about Simon Webb and his hand-turned pens breathing new life into dead wood from Lydiard Park’s 300 year old walnut tree. Read more of that here. 

This post though concerns itself with a new range of pens that Simon is crafting from a particular piece of wood. One that is shot through with resonances of Swindon’s GWR glory days and has associations with Simon himself.

Jack Hayward, pictured with Simon and the STEAM pens, is a volunteer at the museum. During the course of some research on social media Jack discovered that the block of wood from which these pens are made is a form of Australian eucalyptus from Australia – commonly known as jarrah.

Furthermore, and this is where the connection to Simon comes in, the wood was recovered in close proximity to what was once F Shop. And it was here that Jack had once worked alongside Simon’s father, Ken Webb. Hence we have a link from Ken to kin to pen …

It’s thought that the huge block of wood once formed part of a foundation or a platform to support heavy machinery. And goodness knows there was enough of that in the old GWR works back in the day. But it’s good to know, is it not, with the railway works no longer with us, that the wood is not a write off …

The limited edition pens will  be sold in the gift shop at Swindon’s STEAM museum.

The pens are being made as part of the upcoming Swindon 175 celebrations in which the town is set to celebrate its proud railway heritage and the people that were central to it: http://www.swindon175.com Indeed, this very month two flagship locomotives are making a welcome return to Swindon as part of the celebration.

You can read more of that here: http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/aboutus/Pages/Swindon-175.aspx

If you’d like to meet his nibs – aka Simon – and to see some of his pens first hand he’ll be at the STEAM Christmas fair on the 5th & 6th of December 2015.  

advert steam christmas fair

NB: Photos courtesy of Daniel J Webb of Swindon 24:



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