Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

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Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:49 pm

not certain whether this is the correct place for this but,

i have been greenwood working for several years now, been a member of APTGW for the past few years having become aware of the organisation throught his forum on which i have been "contributing" (possibly not the right expression for someone who seeks more advice than he offers) since i found it.

i have never attended the AGM/Ball though, but i am tempted to go/come this year.

much of what i read on the forum or in the gazette appears to assume some familiarity with the goings on at the Ball. i thought maybe it would be nice if those in the know would care to post a few comments about what a BB virgin may expect, how to feel/get invovled, what to bring, what you may expect to do over the weekend, any hints and tips etc. (and i may have my 3 year old daughter in tow (because by then my wife will have had our second child and to get permission to come to the ball may requuire some negotiation) so although its a family event would i still have fun?)

about me: i am no good at initiating conversations or small talk, (i am a realitively shy person unless i am hiding behind copious ammounts of grog), i tend to not mix with other green woodworkers much of my time is spent in my sheds or the woods or yard by myself, i think my work is of ok standard tend to give most of it away as gifts or barter it for stuff but i tend not to like showing off - all of which kind of has kept me away from the ball other years so any advice would definitely be a confidence boost and encourage me to attend. i have felt for some time i would like to feel more involved with this organisation and with others invloved in green woodworking, for me this would be a start. i often think it would be great if there was a S.Wales group - maybe this will inspire me to do something about forming one if i can find the time/energy.

no offense intended to anyone, but i am sure there are others out there who feel the same way.

thanks all,

Paul
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby paul atkin » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:38 pm

Hi Paul, i attended my first ball in 2009 after being involved in green woodwork for several years. I too was a bit nervous about going; i new a couple of folks via the web and have met a couple at demos and thats about it. Most of us spend most of the time working on our own. No need to have worried, everyone has a common interest and are all very friendly. They made myself and my son feel very welcome. Dont worry about your skill level everyone who attends is at a different level from novice to pro, and you can learn loads as they will all share information. I just turned up and did what i do best and folks flocked to see me and introduced themselves. We had a fantastic time. there was about 200 people there from all walks of life and all ages. Some turn up and just wander around for the weekend others get more involved. Some of the pros run taster and have a go sessions which are always fun. The beer tent is a great place to meet folks, and i made sure i had a nice cosy fire going into the night which acts like a magnet for folks to come and join you. Get yourself there you wont regret it Paul ( another shy one) :wink:
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby woodchubber » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:28 pm

Hello Paul- you could be describing me there, with your resume. I've only attended one ball and that was Doncaster (just as a visitor for a few hours)- it seemed to me a rather informal gathering. Most people camped on-site and just set themselves up in their own area. There are a couple of central marquees where competitions, demonstrations/workshops and auction take place. If I were you I'd take some wood and tools along and just treat it as though you were in your own garden. I'm going the full weekend and thats certainly what I intend to do. If anybody is interested then hopefully it will spark a conversation. I imagine each ball is unique owing to it's location; at Doncaster there were a fair few members of the public milling about as it was next to a stately home. There were 3 or 4 stalls selling tools and kit, but as I say it is mostly a Ad Hoc event driven by the members.
Hope you decided to come along and enjoy the weekend. All the best John
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby simon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:46 pm

If you like this forum then you will love the Bodgers Ball.
If the prospect of camping with a 3 year old is no problem for you then coping with the B.B. will be a breeze. Nothing is compulsory (but the more you can join in with the better it is) so wander around and see what takes your fancy.
We are all shy underneath but also happy to talk for hours about what wood, or bevel angles, orTOOLS :D ,or your wonderful daughter and if she might enter the junior's competition next year.
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby robin wood » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:57 am

It's a while since I went to my first one so can't remember what that was like. I think it is fair to say that most of us are naturally not the most outgoing types, but ask us about woodwork and you'll have a hard time getting away. Nowadays there are quite a few folk that know each other, either from this forum or from having met up at AGMs and craft show demos over the years, I guess that could potentially feel a bit cliquey? I think it improved a lot the last few years with some focal point for gathering together on the Friday night, normally a bring and burn BBQ. This acts as a focus for folk to stand around chat and meet. From then on there is plenty to do, just milling around and watching the running program of demos, looking at the competition entries etc. Some of that would be boring for a 3 year old. How many kids are on site varies. There have been some years when there have been a big pack of kids from 3-15 milling about, playing on the hay bales or whatever whilst their folks got on with the serious business of woodworking.
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby Tony Newby » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Paul,

I have been to quite a few, the first was the second ball, if you see what I mean. I think all groups are intimidating from the outside and I, like others who have responded would say I was shy. There was a time some years ago when I stopped going to the Ball as "I couldn't find a way in" but my love of shaping green wood got the better of me and I started to get involved in helping to organise the APT. The last chairman Jim Steele did a lot to make the event as friendly as possible and I am trying to walk in his footsteps, however he is a lot more outgoing than me.

However as the "chairman" they make me stand in front of people and talk, which I can do after much practice at work and the rest of the time I wander about trying to look approachable, not sure how successful that is!!!. Smiling and saying hello to everybody, goes down well.

However to your question. Most people arrive on Friday and there will be guides to show where to set up your camp, bring a lathe, tools etc. if you can, don't worry if you cannot fit it all in the vehicle, I used other peoples for years, all part of mixing in. (My main excuse for holding up the team L2L scores). Friday night used to be a trip to the pub but nowadays we set up a communal BBQ and usually provide a bar. Finding your own sausages can be interesting on a very hot grill. We rarely have enough tongs etc, (I know you wouldn't believe we make them) We will try to separate the late night area from the camping, but 99.99% of the people on site are very reasonable and considerate.

Registration starts when who ever is doing it starts it, there will be a notice. We have several black boards and signs to communicate with the people attending.

Saturday starts at 10am (though we tend to work to Bodgers time, it happens when it happens). With the chairman's opening address and usually quite a few announcements usually in the big tent or outside, a bell will ring. A programme of workshops and events fills the day. Sunday is similar but with races.

We will probably try the communal BBQ for breakfasts and the free tea and coffee area will be open nearly all the time. We have proper toilets available.

The general principle is that what is organised happens if someone will organise it and we can afford it. Everybody is doing it as a volunteer, though we try and provide some expenses to demonstrators.

Come and say hello, I'll be wearing a hat.

Tony
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:30 pm

brilliant replies all, thanks a lot :) just about what i was expecting to be told and what i wanted to hear!

i suspect a good few people will be wearing hats given the fact it's going to be the most gorgeous sunny weekend of the year! i'll say hello to you all :D
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby vikki » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:01 pm

Thanks for asking this- we (me, DH, 3 yr old and 5 yr old) are arranging 6 months travelling/volunteering (WWOOFing) and have decided to fit around the Bodgers Ball- and then I've realised, apart from a few blokes telling me its great, good fun- I know NOTHING.....
I've joined the APT&GW- but how do we sign up for the ball? Have I missed that bit on the website? I only collected my first gazzette this afternoon so have quickly skimmed it for details, but apart from knowing where to go, that's about it. How much will it cost us? Um, anything else I should be asking?
TY
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Re: Rough Guide to the Bodger ball?

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:48 am

Clearly I am no expert but I think booking forms and things normally are in the next gazette. The answers to my question have been great, feel far more confident to just turn up and be me!
From reading the gazette other years it has not seemed to cost too much and looked like good value compared with the cost of some campsites.
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