The recent epidemic of Mumps has made some of us realise the value of a hobby such as Woodcarving, Leatherwork, Lino Cutting, Carpentry, etc. Handicrafts are the best means of filling up the spare hours, which would otherwise be wasted and idled away by doing "nowt."
At the moment, the most progressive of the different types of handicrafts mentioned above is Woodcarving. A couple of the carvers are at present engaged in executing designs on Pew Ends of the Parish Church. These slabs of wood are exceedingly brittle, and consequently much care and patience are required. However, this is all for the good, because the carver is learning something, and thereby derives benefit from his hobby. Some of the other boys have been busy carving shields, also for decorating the Parish Church. These shields are carved in oak, and instead of being painted and gilded as is the common procedure; they are well oiled and polished, which gives a mellow, antique appearance to the wood.
Some boys have tried their hands at figure carving, and despite the difficulty of the task, some quite promising results have been obtained. Fred became so expert at shaping Owl bookends that he produced them almost as from a machine. His recent attempt at a Wolf is quite good, although he himself does not think so.
There are one or two younger boys who have started carving in its simplest form, and as they all se m keen on the work, a good class should soon be forthcoming.
Leatherwork is being started again by a few younger boys, and, although they are only at the elementary stage of making scarf woggles, etc., they will no doubt soon be turning out all manner of purses and pochettes.
A new handicraft has been inaugurated since the last number of The Fleur-de-Lys, namely Lino Cutting. This is a very interesting hobby and one which calls for artistic talent.
The Rovers have been very busy lately making an oak cupboard to hold the Boxing Gloves over at the Room. The cupboard has proved a great success and reflects much credit on Mr. Jefferson and R. Edwards and all the others concerned.
Also various "gadgets" have been turned out, all tending to make the Den as comfortable as possible. Recent additions are a Mantelpiece (specially constructed so that the Rovers' prehistoric clock will function when placed on same), and a cupboard to house the electric light meter.