We started outside the new offices which have been constructed (obviously) mainly of timber, some imported and some Welsh grown. We were taken around the sorting, peeling, pointing areas – mostly automated but there are a large number of people employed throughout the various sections. One part that stimulated a lot of interest was where the timber was being laminated for specialist markets. In this area bespoke gates and other furniture was being made. We also saw the treatment plant which has recently been updated to comply with current legislation.
Finally for our group we saw the area where the chips were being created for the new wood burning systems that are creating a big demand. There was a lot to interest us and the recent improvements to the factory are nearly completed to enable an increase in production, probably to a 24 hour schedule. Such was the interest that we were well behind schedule.
Our Chairman Chris thanked the hosts for an excellent morning and we moved to the Craft centre for our sandwiches. This break was kept brief as we were soon walking up through Ruthin to Nant Clwyd y Dre. This old house has been restored by Denbighshire County Council to a high standard and has won many awards. It is billed as built in 1435 and is the oldest timbered town house in Wales. The 7 rooms reflect different periods in the house including a Victorian school room for young ladies and is all set out for a needlework lesson. It was also used by the Judge when he was on his circuit as his Ruthin residence. This was a little later than 1435 as our Chairman can remember seeing the judge going through Ruthin.
The garden has recently been opened and we had a guided walk through there with a look into the potting shed and the view over Ruthin from the summer house. Chloe was our County guide for this part of the day and with her infectious enthusiasm we all had a great visit to Nant Clwyd y Dre.
After this we went back down through town to the Craft Centre (this has recently just missed winning an international award) where we were booked in for tea/coffee and cakes.
This was a very full and busy day and the Chairman thanked those who arranged it and everybody for turning up to make it such a good social event.
For our last field meeting of the year 27 of us met at Clifford Jones sawmills just outside Ruthin. This mill has expanded considerably over recent years and as well as fencing material now makes play, garden and farm furniture. Recently he has moved into supplying woodchips. We were met by Clifford with his son and Daughter and the office staff. In view of the large number we were split into 3 groups for a trip around the factory.