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Newsletter Archive Leap Day : Foundries | Esquire, GQ & Observer coverage | Canoes


Welcome to the first and undoubtedly very rare Cherchbi Leap Day Newsletter. One extra day in every 1,460. This fact alone is surely reason enough to allow a moment to read about the latest goings-on at Cherchbi.

Visits

Late last year we accompanied some clients on a visit to B.B Stanley of Walsall, one of the oldest foundries in the country. During our visit we took some photos of the foundry, its workers and their processes, some of which we share with you here.

Recent press coverage

Aside from the warm glow we felt at having a Cherchbi bag featured in The Observer, it was particularly pleasing to see it in such a well styled photograph, thank you to Sophie Broadbridge. The beautiful wooden skis prompted a frenetic period of internet-scouring and resulted in bookmarking numerous items of vintage alpine equipment. By the way, the competition to win number 11/29 of our English Union Black Sail Rucksack is open until March 4th.

We were also very pleased to feature in Esquire’s alternative commute: sitting alongside some very neat products is always nice.

GQ Trends describe our Docket Zip Pouch as a document wallet, it’s actually a lot more versatile. This bag was conceived during a hectic period of travel. We wanted a bag that would carry phone, keys, travel card on daily basis, but on a different day would work as a travel wallet and hold passport, tickets and currency, or even be used as a small wash kit. The trick was not to over-design it, well thought-through simple functionality allows the user to decide how the bag works best for them.

Pursuits

I’m sure many folk will be familiar with Percy W Blandford, I admit that until a few months ago I was not. This changed when Mrs A and I began searching for a two-person canoe. After first considering then rejecting moulded, inflatable and collapsible types – for aesthetic, environmental and cost reasons – we finally settled on an old wood and canvas craft from the 1950′s. This would be our 2011/12 winter project, [following last winter’s Pashley tandem renovation an annual pattern of two-person vintage transport restoration appears to be emerging], something to keep us out of trouble until spring.

A little research revealed our canoe was a P.B.K. 55 Kittiwake. The Kittiwake is only one of dozens of canoes and small boats designed by Percy Blandford, many under the P.B.K. [Percy Blandford Kayak] acronym. Mr Blandford published his designs along with detailed build instructions with the aim of encouraging the amateur enthusiast to build their own boat. He also wrote many books on how to sail them, and books on how to make the tools you may need to build these boats, and books on a host of other water-related adventure and do it yourself topics with wonderful titles such as Blacksmithing Projects, The New Explorers Guide to Maps & Compasses, The Woodturners Bible, Backyard Builders Bonanza, Making Knives & Tools and Build Your Own Boat. To aid in the renovation of our boat I purchased Mr Blandfords Canoes and Canoeing which includes three specific chapters on how to build a P.B.K. 55 and lots of other generally useful information, drawings and photographs. When the renovation begins this book will be close at hand. Future Newsletters and Journal postings will feature updates on the renovation and maiden voyage of our Cherchbi P.B.K. 55. [Images and photographs are all the work of Percy Blandford and are taken from Canoes and Canoeing].

As always we are keen to hear your comments about what we’re doing at CHERCHBI, please email me at adam@cherchbi.com. Alternatively you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or read our WordPress Journal.