One of the wonderful things about the Vale of Pewsey is that the most unexpected activities take place in such a rural area. An example of this is that Woodborough Yard is home to a leading bookbinding company, Shepherd's Centre for Book Arts, which runs an extensive list of bookbinding courses, in conjunction with Bound by Veterans, a charity that supports wounded and injured Veterans - more about that in a moment.
Bookbinding courses are run at Daffodil Barn in Woodborough Yard and they give you the opportunity to escape from the 'everyday' and to be practical and creative. There is a course for everyone, from the complete beginner to those with more experience; for those who want to learn for fun or those who want a formal qualification. All their Instructors are highly experienced and respected in their specialised area of bookbinding. With a small class of no more than 6 students you learn the necessary skills and useful tips from some of the best.
These exquisite books, as well as materials, are available for sale in the little shop at the front of the barn. Beautiful, hand-made gifts for someone special!
Bound by Veterans (BBV) is a charity offering free training in the skills of bookbinding to improve the health and well-being of Wounded, Injured or Sick (referred to as WIS) ex-servicemen and women who have been discharged prematurely from the services. The training is also freely available to the Band of Sisters (BoS), the spouses and families of WIS veterans. Introduction courses are held at Tedworth House, Tidworth and these informal sessions last about two hours and are open to all involved in the Rolling Recovery Programme (RRP) or BoS programme.
All other courses are conducted in the Training Workshop in the Daffodil Barn at Woodborough Yard near Pewsey and are free to WIS and BoS. For further information about courses at the Daffodil Barn or to book a course, visit the Bound by Veterans Website at http://wiltshirebarn.co.uk/ or contact the course administrator on firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone (so non-WIS or non-BoS) may apply to attend courses but a course fee will be charged. Details from the Course Administrator (as above).
The courses have been beneficial to a large number of veterans and here is a selection of their comments.
- Clare - [a Lance Corporal in the Royal Signals] "This week has helped me by getting me out of the house and meeting new people which I haven't been able to do since I left the Army and has given me more skills to do something as a hobby or as a job later in life"
- Rachel (not her real name) - [a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer with over 20 years' service in the RAF and, at the time of writing, was in the process of being given a medical discharge]. "I realise now that I have become institutionalised. I had my whole life mapped out but now I have to start again. Taking the course has helped me tremendously. I was unable to get out of the house for eight months, except for medical appointments, and too nervous to drive anywhere. I now enjoy the journey to the Barn for work. I feel more stable and not too anxious about the future"
- Wendy - [ex RN Aircraft Engineer medically discharged in 2005] "Coming to terms with what I can no longer do is a battle I face each day. With bookbinding I can be creative, work with my hands and at a pace to suit me. Without bookbinding in my life, this battle would be so much harder"
For further information on course details or to book a course:
Students on an Introduction Course at Tedworth House (left) and Stefan Godfrey on a City & Guilds course at the Daffodil Barn, Woodborough (right)