New Switch Sticks Folding Walking Sticks Now In

We are pleased to announce the addition of eight new folding walking sticks by Switch Sticks to the website. Switch Sticks sticks have always been great sellers (especially for Christmas gifts) because of their beautiful designs and lovely quality.

Just like the others sticks in the range, these new ones are height adjustable from 81 to 91cm (32 to 36 inches), robust wooden handles, wrist cords, holding clip and ferrule, all in one tidy box and all matching. Also, like the others, the maximum user weight limit is 120 kg (18 stone 12 lbs),

Here are the new designs below. Please click on any of the images to take buy any of them, view more images or find out more:

Azure Blue Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Azure Blue Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Switch Sticks Graphite Folding Walking Stick
Switch Sticks Graphite Folding Walking Stick
Rose Gold Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Rose Gold Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Purple Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Purple Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Red Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Red Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Blue Striped Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Blue Striped Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Smiles Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Smiles Switch Sticks Folding Stick

 

Surrey Walking Stick Factories and Chiddingfold Bonfire Night

Looking through the archives, I found some very interesting pieces about walking stick makers in Surrey.

Lintott and Co (1876-1968) were walking stick makers in Witley, Surrey. Mr. Leonard Lintott of Downland, Petworth, originally a wood-cutter, founded his walking-stick business in 1858. He began by sending cut chestnut and ash to other manufacturers and later made walking-sticks himself, and, with the help of his sons James (Jas), Henry, Thomas and Geoffrey, the business and subsequent partnership thrived.

The Lintotts bought the cutting rights of local woods and had their own plantations, the wood from which was made not only into walking sticks, but also shepherds’ crooks, scout poles, umbrella handles, hockey sticks and army officers’ sticks.

The business lasted approximately one hundred years.

The Lintotts Walking Stick factory was based in Chiddingfold in Surrey and produced thousands of sticks which were exported all over the world. The range of tools and equipment was fairly small but totally unique.

Today, Chiddingfold is probably best known for its famous bonfire night event, which began as the mere burning of brittle remains from the walking stick factory! Nowadays, the event attracts up to 10,000 people who come from miles around to see the firework display and torch lit procession. A huge pyramid is built on the village green and local people bring  various bits of wood, trees and old furniture to gradually fill it up. Last time I saw it, there were some very nice pieces of furniture and sofas in there!

Coppice wood was also used directly in rural industries
such as the manufacture of hurdles, hop poles
and brooms and it was shaped by steaming to make
hoops for barrels and walking sticks.

Coopers and Sons Ltd were also based in Chiddingfold from 1991 to 2003.

A walking stick factory at Wormley, which also made
shepherds crooks for export to Australia, moved into
the manufacture of modern walking aids in the twentieth century.

Watch the British Pathé video below all about stick making.

 

Congratulations Classic Canes – 35 Years Old

2017 marks the 35th anniversary of Classic Canes (our favourite walking stick suppler). Here is a post (written by them) all about the company, founded in the autumn of 1982 by Ben and Diana Porter.

“Our story began when Ben and Diana bought a neglected woodland in Somerset in order to rebuild the ruined hunting lodge at its centre. While they were working on the house, they discovered that the surrounding woodland was naturally producing suitable raw material for walking sticks. To begin with, they cut the sticks and sold them to Coopers, a walking stick factory in Surrey. When delivering the sticks, they saw the finished products of the factory and decided to offer them to shops in their local area.

The first customers were gift shops, craft centres and tobacconists, whom Diana would visit with her samples and two small children:Charlotte and Johnny. The business soon grew to include more stockists across the south west of England and then further afield. Ben drove many miles in the early years, finding new stockists who chose their walking sticks from the back of a van.

Buy Classic Canes Sticks at www.walkingsticksonline.co.uk
Buy Classic Canes Sticks at www.walkingsticksonline.co.uk

In the late 1980s, the company started exhibiting at trade fairs, which enabled new accounts to be opened across the UK and overseas. The range of walking sticks grew too, to include such developments as folding walking sticks and ladies’ size walking sticks.

By the millennium, Classic Canes had established itself as  a leading supplier of walking sticks and was well known for the good quality of its products. Johnny Porter worked hard to establish the Classic Canes workshop, which specialises in small scale production of specialist walking sticks, mostly using the ash, hazel and blackthorn wood grown on site.

Charlotte Porter rejoined the firm in 2003 after working in the luxury goods trade. She persuaded the family to start branding the walking sticks with the Classic Canes name and developed the marketing of the company to further enhance its reputation and prestige.

Today, Classic Canes stocks over 700 models of walking sticks, seat sticks and umbrellas, selling to retailers in over 40 countries with stockists mainly mobility shops, garden centres and on-line shops.

Much has changed in 35 years, mainly the dawn of the internet. We wish the Porter family many more years of business!

Having visited Warren House in Somerset and seen the way their business is run, I am full of admiration.

 

Care & Maintenance of walking Sticks

Walking sticks and seat sticks are generally robust items suitable for active use. however, a little care and maintenance will improve the appearance of your walking stick or seat and may extend its working life. Here are some useful tips:

Wooden Sticks
Wooden walking sticks should be regularly cleaned of mud and grime by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. They should be dried after use in wet weather and stored somewhere dry and warm but away from direct heat sources such as stoves and radiators. An occasional light polish with furniture polish or beeswax will also protect the wood and enhance the finish, although this should not be done with natural bark, rustic sticks that have not been varnished already. Ensure worn or damaged metal or rubber ferrules are replaced promptly, both for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the cane.

Aluminium Canes
These are very robust items, but care should be taken not to scratch the coating as this will affect the appearance of the cane. The tightening collar should always be re-tightened after the height of the cane has been adjusted, to ensure the cane is secure and does not audibly rattle or click.

Folding Walking Canes
Folding canes have simple mechanisms, but it is best not to dismantle them as small but important components might be lost. They should be stored in dry warm areas, but not near strong heat sources in case this causes the internal rubber bungee cord to perish. Care should be taken when using a folding cane in very cold temperatures as rubber naturally loses some of its elasticity when conditions are very cold. After the height has been adjusted, the collar must be re-tightened to prevent rattling and to increase stability.

Ferrules
Both rubber and metal ferrules should be checked regularly and replaced once they start to become worn down. This is important for safety as well as aesthetic reasons. It is especially important in the case of three and four-legged seats, which may become unstable if used with worn or missing rubber ferrules.

Leather Seat Sticks
Leather is a natural product and can become mildewed or mouldy if left in a damp place. After a rainy day, always bring your leather seat stick indoors, dry it with a towel and store away from direct heat sources (this may cause the leather to become cracked and hard). if the leather becomes dry at all, it’s suppleness may be improved by a light application of leather food.

 

Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd catalogue
Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd catalogue

New Walking Sticks Added in April 2017

Besides the newly finished ram’s horn and buffalo sticks, we have added twelve other walking sticks to the site this month.
We have got four special thumbsticks, some unusual handmade sticks, two collector’s canes and three orthopaedic handled walking sticks.

They all fill in gaps in the collections. For example, there is a new Fischer handled black height adjustable stick that is neither folding nor wooden, but aluminum and height adjusting. This is generally what we like to do, offer as many different variations as possible to try and please everybody!

The other Fischer handled stick is also aluminium and height adjusting with a wood effect, textured handle. The black one also has a textured handle for a better grip.

Textured Handle Fischer Stick

The four thumbsticks include; one rare one-piece blackthorn wood thumbstick, two twisty hazels and one very long thumbstick – either for someone very tall or it can be shortened to any height required. The blackthorn one has a very dark purple/black bark and is a fine specimen.

Rare Blackthorn Thumbstick

Of the two other handmade sticks, we have a short market stick and an antler roll handled stick with a leather lanyard. Both of these sticks will be exactly what somebody is looking for.

Another orthopaedic cane is the exra tall (102cm) long wooden canes with shaped left and right amber effect handles. We got these canes in by request from a customer who wanted more choice in the extra long section.

The new blackthorn Derby cane with Derby style wooden handle, replaces the soon to be discontinued 37J blackthorn Derby. We still have a few left in stock so snap them up quick if that’s the stick you really want.

For the two new collector’s canes, we have got a Henry VIII and a Duke of Wellington.

Henry Eighth Walking Stick

We also have just one 83cm blackthorn knobstick, the handle of which has been carved from a large block or blank as they call it in the trade. This could be used as a short knob stick or it could be shortened and used as a shillelagh as the handle is quite large (6 x 7cm).

Blackthorn Knobstick

BT51 and BT52 – Our Sought After Horn Handled Sticks are Back

Our buffalo horn and ram’s horn handled sticks are now back on the website again, but this time they are on apple wood instead of hazel. These two sticks have been very popular over the years but the raw material, particularly the ram’s horn, is sometimes difficult for the stick makers to source, hence the inconsistencies of availability on Walking Sticks Online.

Rams Horn Walking Stick on Apple Wood

Buffalo Horn Handled Walking Stick on Apple Wood

We are pleased to announce the new stock of sticks this month. These sticks are all handmade from start to finish and the handles are mounted on to apple wood shanks. The shanks are coppiced, dried for two years and then steam straightened to produce excellent sticks with a reassuring bounce in the shaft.

The ram’s horn handles are formed over a long period of time by heating, bending and compressing the horn until it forms the desired shape and density. The handles are finished by oiling and polishing until they shine. Working with horn is a very time-consuming process to get the best effects from the horn. It starts out so dull and unappealing and finishes up looking wonderful.

We have three other ram’s horn sticks available to buy on the website and from time to time we have other one-of-a-kind handmade buffalo and ram’s horn sticks for sale. We work closely with several talented stick makers and we are always on the look out for more. If you make sticks or you know someone that does, please contact us and we will see if we can work together.

Metal H Ferrules Replace the 2204 and 2205 Brass Walking Stick Tips

We have just recently replaced the brass and steel ferrules (order codes 2205 and 2204) with a new type, the H type ferrule. These ferrules are taller and have a thick 4mm base. They taper more than the other ferrules, so when you fit one to the end of your walking stick, you will need to taper the end of the cane for a snug fit.

Type H Metal Ferrule

The H metal ferrule is available in the following (outside diameter of the open end) sizes:
10mm, 12mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17.5mm, 18.5mm, 19.5mm, 20.5mm, 21.5mm, 22.5mm, 23.5mm, 25mm

Please read the article below on how to fit a metal ferrule to your walking stick.

How to fit a metal ferrule on to your walking stick
First of all select a metal ferrule (usually brass or steel) with a diameter that is the same or a millimetre or two less than the diameter of the stick shank at the tip.

Then measure the depth of the ferrule (with your finger or a pen) and then mark the tip of the stick to the same depth.

Next score a line around the tip of the stick with a stanley knife. This line marks where the metal ferrule will come up to. Basically, you want to attach the ferrule so that the outside rim of it is flush with the stick.

Using your stanley knife, cutting away from you and your other hand, cut away from the score line to the tip. You are creating a tapered tip so that the ferrule will fit over perfectly.

Keep going all the way around the tip and stop from time to time to see if the ferrule will fit over it. Try and keep the scored line nice and neat and as straight as possible. You are aiming for a tight fit to prevent the ferrule from falling off the end.

When the ferrule will fit over the tapered tip (quite tightly) it is time to mix together the two parts of the epoxy resin glue. You can also use ordinary super glue.

Apply the glue to the tip and to the inside of your ferrule and then push the ferrule on it. Give the stick a tap on the floor a few times to make sure the ferrule is securely attached. Then leave to dry for 5 minutes.

You can also pinch on the ferrule by hammering a nail into the sides of the ferrule or crimp it in a vice, but you don’t have to.

Spring Choices for Walking Sticks

Spring marks the start of the walking season for ramblers, hikers and hill walkers. For Walking Sticks Online, its the time of year we sell lots of hiking sticks and poles, seat sticks, thumbsticks and other country sticks.

Walking and walking in a group is very good for you. Apart form the obvious health benefits of walking, joining a local group brings the other bonuses of friends and something to do practically everyday of the year, even Christmas and Boxing Day. If you have moved to a new area or you are feeling lonely, join a walking group!

We offer various different sticks to make walking in the country a bit easier and we sell specialised sticks for specific activities.

Aluminium hiking poles are usually bought in pairs and can be adjusted in height to be used like tall Nordic walking poles or short to aid hill climbing. Hiking poles provide balance when walking on flat surfaces, uphill, downhill and making your way across a hill and a whole host of other practical uses while out walking.

Natural Thumb Sticks

Wooden walking poles and thumbsticks provide balance and something to lean on, soon becoming a much loved companion wherever you go.

Wooden Hiking Stick

The other big event in Spring is of course Mother’s Day, with the floral and patterned walking sticks selling like hot cakes!

Choose a Green Walking Stick. This Year’s Colour.

Pantone has these greens for Spring 2017;

PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

and

PANTONE 18-0107 Kale
Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.

Green Derby Cane

We have several green walking sticks for sale on the website including Derby canes, fold-able sticks and height adjustable sticks.

Lime Green Height Adjusting Walking Stick

From the natural wooden section, ash wood has the greenest bark, sometimes quite a rich green.

Green Ash Walking Stick

Ash trees have been under threat in Britain over the last few years due to the Calara dieback disease known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. This fungus causes the death of ash trees. It first came to Britain in 2012 and a lot of work has been done since then to monitor the disease, carry out research and reduce the impact to save as many ash trees as possible. The disease doesn’t look as devastating as the Dutch Elm disease, with older ash trees showing some resistance.

We hope the disease can be beaten as ash wood makes such lovely walking sticks.