Our Story

A few of you will be fortunate enough to remember the boiling hot summer of '76.  Eastbourne was buzzing, crowds of bronzed, excited students, holiday makers on the pier with fish and chips, newspaper hats and ice cream melting.  The band playing on the bandstand, deep blue twinkling sea and sunshine and blue sky.  

My dearest friend Hannah and I went to a friends, and in particular, a beautiful apartment which the Congress Theatre celebrities stayed in during the summer months.  I remember this L shaped settee and in particular a low cartwheel table which revolved.  It was always a conversation piece and added to hours of hilarity.  I promised myself I would buy one one day.

Fast forward to 2017.

 

I have always loved oak timber buildings (having once been involved in English Heritage Buildings).  Especially untouched, original barns. One summers day some farming friends were kindly showing me their beautiful barns and outbuildings.  As the huge barn doors creaked open, out flew a pair of swallows.  The sunlight streamed in through the barn door and beams of light seeped in through the cracks in the eaves, showing the moving dust, and then I smelt the musty smell of ancient oak, straw and hay.  As my eyes adjusted, there, in the corner were some cartwheels.

"May I buy a cartwheel"? I asked.

I was surprised that it took a lot longer and cost far more than I had imagined to get tables made and functioning smoothly.  The stainless steel criss cross base had to be purpose made, the wheels themselves scrubbed, treated, waxed with beeswax and the rims polished, the glass cut to size.  I was assured by all the busy, talented and very patient lads who made these articles, that if I ordered 10 of each, it may be considerably less.  I have yet to reach that stage, but have had the delight of dragging my poor, very long suffering husband to many shows to include:

Firle Vintage Fair - 2018 
Royal Bath & West Show - 2018
The New Forest Show - 2018

Cowdray Park Polo King Cup - 2019
RHS The Three Counties Festival, Malvern - 2019
The Wealden Times Mid-Summer Fair - 2019
Stansted Park - Rowlands Catsle - 2019
Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace - 2019
The Autumn Garden Show at Firle - 2020
This week.. the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair Online - 2020

The tables seem to go to homes where people "enjoy" life. 

Thank you for reading "our story".

My thanks go to my daughter, Evie Francesca for making me an amazing website and always being 'there' for her very non tech mother.  Also to Ben for lifting all the heavy gear at shows! Last but not least all thanks to my very 'special' and supportive and long suffering husband Simon.  

Gratitude to the great craftsmen I have met along the way, always with a smile and great patience.

 

Thank you all very much. 

Elizabeth Cornford

©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESEVRED - THE CARTWHEEL TABLE COMPANY