Friday, 8 May 2015

Grandfathers Legacy

Grandad Bertie Cannon

Metal badges
Grandad ( bottom right) at work at the royal mews
Ever since I began working with wood a few years ago, I've found myself musing over the little snippets of information I have about my maternal grandfather..and a handful of trinkets I own which were his. I wonder whether or not it is mere coincidence that we share a love for wood. My grandfather Bertie Cannon was a cabinet maker and coachbuilder, and worked at the royal mews in London. I have a photograph of him with one of the royal coaches - I think it is the Lord Mayors coach, and I remember my mother often telling me how he worked long hours at the Royal Mews, travelling from Hertfordshire down to London every day. Unfortunately he died when I was quite young..I think around 1964 when I would have been five years old, and my memories of him are very slight, although I do have a vague memory of being with him in his workshop. My mother used to tell me that he was very skillful with wood, and could make anything - she believed that my ability to draw must have come from him, but I didn't discover my own love for handling and working with wood until I was into my fifties, and my mother was no longer alive to see any of my pyrography work. Apart from the black and white photograph of grandad and the coach, I have some metal 'badges' which I believe came from him, and which I assume were connected with his work, and two old spoke shaves. These have his name inscribed..very faint now, but just about visible and probably would have been with him from his apprentice days. I love to handle these spoke shaves, knowing that he must have used them a great deal for many many years - it almost feels sometimes that he has handed them to me across time, as though handing on a baton..
Grandads spoke shaves