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The craftsmen

Harry Davoll (1876-1963) was the second craftsman taken on by Gimson in November 1901. He was one of a number of trade cabinet-makers who became part of this new craft community. He had been born in Derbyshire, served his apprenticeship in Hereford before moving to Waring & Gillow in Liverpool. He was temporarily out of work when he heard about openings in a new country workshop. It was Waals who wrote this offer of employment:
 
‘119 Dyer Street
Cirencester
10th November 1901
 
Dear Sir
 
Yours of Nov. 10th to hand. Mr. Pugsley has, I suppose, informed you about the conditions. We pay 8d. per hour and offer a permanency to good men. We make high-class furniture only, therefore, we want first-class cabinetmaker.
But Mr. Pugsley has assured me that you are used to that kind of work. You might start as soon as you can.
You better bring some of your tools with you, as Mr. P. had delay with his. Please let me know when I can expect you.’
(Mr Pugsley was the first cabinet-maker employed although he did not stay long.)
 
The following year Davoll was joined by Percy Burchett (1887-1940) from Bexhill in Sussex. He had served his apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker before coming to the Cotswolds. In 1904 Ernest Smith (1876-1967) joined the Daneway workshops. He was born in Slough, the son of a skilled cabinet-maker who made a piece for Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. As a young man in the 1890s, Smith followed his father into the London furniture trade making wardrobes on piece rate. He replied to an advertisement for cabinet-makers in the country because it offered him an opportunity to get out of London. The work required was described as good woodwork ‘of a constructional design of which faults cannot be hidden’. The wages were 8d an hour, 1½d less than he was earning in London but he calculated accurately that living would be cheaper in the country. Smith subsequently acknowledged the extent to which his way of working had changed; he was no longer expected to cut corners and to do the work as cheaply as possible. The quality of workmanship was a source of personal satisfaction and pride.
 
Fred Orton (1882-1974) was born in Burton-on-Trent. His father was a cooper who transferred to Stroud Brewery in Gloucestershire in the 1890s. Orton however wanted to be a cabinet maker. He worked for builders in Stroud and in Langport, Somerset before joining the Daneway Workshops. Gimson rented Hill House Farm in nearby Tunley as accommodation for unmarried craftsmen such as Orton.
 
Both Fred Gardiner (1890-1963) and Bert Hunt (1893-1980) were local men and sons of builders. They were apprenticed to Gimson and worked at Daneway. Owen Scrubey (1905-1988), Frank Rust and Percy Tanner (1904-1984) were local boys who were apprenticed to Gimson just before the First World War.
 
Gimson also took on Geoffrey Lupton as a pupil in 1905. Like Gimson his family ran an engineering firm but Lupton gave up his apprenticeship and spent a year in the workshops at Daneway. He went on to work as an architect and builder in Hampshire. In 1911, he funded and built the assembly hall at Bedales, his old school, to Gimson’s design and also built the Memorial Library, again to Gimson’s design, after the First World War.