Farming Express THE FARMING EXPRESS - Page 40

Assington Mill Rural Skills & Crafts Courses

There are a few spaces left on these courses:

Upholstery 23 & 24 February. The idea is that you bring your own furniture, either a dining chair or a stool, and our professional upholsterer will help you to renew the upholstery in the traditional manner. Learning this skill will save you money in the future. £230 for the weekend including all refreshments.

Picture Framing - a practical introduction, 25 March. This one-day course is for beginners and will take you through the stages in framing your own artworks and photographs. It may be the start to a new career. £120 including refreshments.

Metal Detecting 26 March. Come and learn the basics of metal detecting - the start of a whole new way of life. £85 for the day including refreshments.

The short craft courses at Assington Mill have now been running for eleven years. Assington village is just off the A134 between Sudbury and Colchester, and Assington Mill lies at the heart of one of Suffolk’s secret valleys, half a mile down a farm track. We offer over 70 different subjects, including those that are not often covered elsewhere, such as book restoration, dowsing, strawbale building and coracle making. We also aim to choose topics like the badger day, and food for free, that make use of the beautiful and unspoilt location. The former watermill is at the centre of a small working farm of 69 acres, currently managed as a private nature reserve. Anne Holden, who runs the courses, says, “We have now welcomed over 5000 students, including people from Mexico, Greenland, USA, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and Eire, and we enjoy meeting so many interesting people”.

The workshop for the courses used to be a WWII prefabricated hut, but was replaced in 2004 by a spacious and elegant building made out of straw bales and rendered with clay, both off the farm. It was built by about 20 people on a course which lasted seven days, under the supervision of Barbara Jones of Strawworks. Barbara advised the owner of the straw bale house on TV’s Grand Designs. It has a pantiled roof, large double doors at each end, windows along the length of one wall, a compost loo and a small tea point. Assington Brook runs along one side and the doors on the south elevation overlook the meadows which lead to Spouses Grove nature reserve.

Lunch is home-made and included in the course fees, together with home-made biscuits and cakes, and the food is sourced locally either from our allotments or the Assington Farm Shop – rarely from supermarkets.

Contact Anne Holden for further information on:

Tel: 01787 229955

Mobile: 07770 550570