Chances are readers have seen the shed at the showground adorned with ‘The Woodturning Centre’ sign.

The shed sits peacefully at the showground and what operates inside can be described as a place of activity and fellowship.

The woodworking club is celebrating 40 years in operation and some may be aware of its presence but may not have delved into the rich history and operation of the club.

Its first year reached 32 members in 1984 when Arthur Swain took the lead as president beside Ray Hawkins and Lee Beecroft as vice presidents, where it operated in the Manual Arts Room at Gunnedah High School before rotating through a number of home workshops.

It was only last year that one of the founding members, Allan George, put away the tool kit at the age of 95.

Recent years saw a name change to more clearly reflect what the club does – now dubbed Gunnedah Woodworkers Club.

The group can be attested as a place for learning and refining woodworking skills in a non-for-profit community setting.

That ideology can be found in the club’s foundation with its last original member, Neville Barnier, who is still passing on his skills just as he has been since the beginning.

Last original Gunnedah Woodworkers Club member Neville Barnier.

The members have partnered throughout the years with the Gunnedah Shire Council along with schools and organisations to bring projects to life whenever needed.

Think of poppies for Anzac Day programs or woodworking projects for local primary and senior schools along with refurbishing or restoring chairs, desks and other furniture as just some of the activities the members accomplish.

It is a club for anyone who shares a passion for the same craft with women and men of all ages partaking.

It currently has 25 full working members producing projects of interest while others work on restoration or small construction jobs.

Members enjoy the advantages of a well-equipped workshop, kitchen, social area and a timber storage shed.

There is also an associate member group with 30 people who appreciate the social activities the club provides rather than working on projects themselves.

To join the club requires no woodworking skills but rather a willingness to learn and contribute.

This has the added benefit of learning about machinery and woodwork practices along with adding a new itinerary of activities with new friendships.

The Gunnedah Woodworkers Club is equipped with an extensive collection of tools and resources for its members.

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