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

Walking Sticks Make Great Christmas Presents

If you are stuck for ideas for presents this Christmas, how about a walking stick? We now have more choice than ever and something to suit all budgets and tastes. We have an excellent selection for men and women, young and old.

We are now using Yodel to deliver all wooden walking sticks to UK addresses, Royal Mail for all folding and height adjustable sticks and UPS for urgent next day deliveries and for worldwide deliveries. The latest dates for Christmas deliveries are now shown on the website.

If you wanted to personalize your gift with an engraved collar or plaque, please allow an extra 5 days for delivery as we do not do the engraving in-house. For hand-carved  sticks, the cut off date for orders for Christmas is the end of November. Please call or email us first to inquire before paying so that we can check with the stick maker first.

Come and see our great selection today!

Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd
Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd

 

 

ITV News Article about Falls In Hospitals

Hospital patients at risk of falls as ‘thousands cannot reach walking sticks’

There are 700 falls in hospitals across England every day. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of patients in NHS hospitals are at risk of serious falls as they cannot safely reach call bells or walking aids, a report has warned.

A fifth of falls recorded are from bed, and yet only half of NHS trusts had carried out a recent bed rail audit.

And while hospitals had policies in place for dealing with falls, there was “no association” between them and the care patients actually received on wards.

700
Falls every day in hospitals across England
250,000
Average number of falls per year
3,000
Number that result in hip fractures

The study, published by the Royal College of Physicians, found the trust with the highest number of falls was Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

This was followed by Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Shelagh O’Riordan, who led the study, said: “This is the first time there has been a national audit of falls prevention in hospitals across England and Wales.

“Our results show that although there are pockets of really good care, many hospitals are not doing everything they can to prevent falls.”

Research has shown that falls in hospitals can be cut by 20%-30% through careful planning and identifying patients at risk.

—————————————————-
We sell a number of accessories to avoid this terrible problem. A cane holder is a small and soft rubber gadget that grips around your walking stick under the handle enabling you to rest your stick against a rounded edged table or a wall without it falling down. You can purchase one here: cane holder grip
Cane Holder
Cane Holder
We also sell wrist straps. These fit around the neck of your walking stick and can be left on there. The cotton loop fits around your wrist, your arm or over a hook or post. You can buy these in various colours to match here: wrist cords
Wrist Cords
Wrist Cords

Do It Yourself Metal Ferrule Fitting

Adding a metal ferrule to the tip of your walking stick doesn’t require any expensive or complex tools. All you need is a Stanley knife and some epoxy resin glue and about 20 minutes spare.

First of all you get the correct size ferrule. Select one with a diameter a couple of millimeters less than the diameter of your walking stick. This is because you are going to create a tapered end for the ferrule to fit over and you want it to meet the shaft so that it is flush (without a lip). This looks better and makes a clean finish.

When you have got the right ferrule, hold it next to the end of the stick and score a line where the ferrule will cover the stick. The line will be the same as the inside depth of the ferrule.

Next, start cutting the bark or wood away from the tip by starting from the scored line. You need to hold the stick firmly and cut away from you. Keep cutting all the way around the tip until you have created a tapered end.

On completion of each circuit, take the ferrule and put it over the end until it fits over nicely and meets the scored line edge. The idea is to shape the tip of the stick so that it fits snugly into the ferrule and the end of the stick is touching the inside end of the ferrule.

When the tip has been cut enough to fit the ferrule, prepare the epoxy resin by mixing a small amount of each substance on to a piece of cardboard or other disposable surface. When it’s ready, coat the tip of the stick and the inside of the ferrule with the glue and tap the ferrule on with a hammer or push it down hard on the floor to make sure it is firmly attached.

When the ferrule is on you can pinch it on by hammering a nail or pin into one or both sides, but you don’t have to.

That’s it! Hazel, beech and chestnut woods are soft and easy to work with but you will find blackthorn and other thorn woods more time consuming. You can also make the work mush quicker by using a belt sander or other power tools with a sanding function.

Metal Ferrule
Metal Ferrule

Shoot from the stick – BBC Country File Article

The following is an article from the BBC Country File Magazine. We love working with Classic Canes. They are very friendly, helpful, delivery is always next day and they host great open days!

Classic Canes Limited is an inspiration to me and they provide a benchmark to aim for. You can purchase most of the Classic Canes sticks on our website. If you are looking for a particular stick they make, please contact us and we will order it for you – delivery only takes an extra day to you.

Shoot from the stick. After sprucing up an ailing woodland, Ben Porter hit upon the idea of turning his abundant wood crop into classic walking sticks.

Dry leaves rustle underfoot as Ben Porter picks his way through woodland near Crewkerne in Somerset, pausing to point to a thin, straight branch stretching skywards. “That’ll make a good walking stick in about a year,” he says. The vertical shoot is a centimetre in diameter. When it reaches the correct size (3in thick and 4ft tall), it will be felled, seasoned for several years, sawn, steam-bent and sanded into a beautiful rustic walking stick.

“Ooh, can you see that thumbstick?” says his daughter Charlotte Gillan, gesturing into the canopy at an ash tree, which has a shoot forming a natural ‘V’ shape. The fork in the wood is where the future owner, most likely a farmer, will rest his or her thumb – probably while leaning on it at market, chatting to an old acquaintance about the current price of cattle.

WALKING TALL A few yards along, the mature trees give way to leafy green shoots. “Baby walking sticks,” smiles Ben. Father and daughter look like they’ve stepped out of a Barbour advert; both good-looking, both wearing check shirts and khaki gilets, Ben in leather hiking boots while Charlotte sports riding boots. All they need now are the family golden retrievers lolling at their feet.

The Porter family has a 20-acre walking stick plantation on this pretty hill and, from log cabins deep within the woodland, they run their company Classic Canes Limited, specialising in all manner of walking implements but most notably rustic sticks made from coppice ash, hazel, blackthorn and sweet chestnut grown yards away and crafted in their workshop.

After 20 years working in the motor industry, Ben forayed into buying, improving and selling woodland in the 1970s. In 1979, he saw particulars for Warren Wood, a neglected woodland that came with a ruined Tudor hunting lodge. He and his wife Diana fell head over heels for it. “The roof had collapsed and trees were growing inside as well as outside,” says Ben. “Once we’d sorted the house, we started thinking about the woodland.”

ASH FLOW
They had inherited a mix of mature beech trees, young ash trees and some sickly pines (due to the chalk being too alkaline for them). When the Porters felled the pines, the clear ground allowed dormant ash seeds in the undergrowth to propagate. As these began to sprout, Ben wondered what they could do with the wood, as the trees would take decades to mature to the right size for large timber production.

He had an epiphany when he read a book on forestry practice by noted forester Dr Cyril Hart. “Towards the end of his book the old boy wrote about sundry woodland produce and mentioned walking sticks as a coppice crop,” says Ben. “I came out here and decided our ash saplings looked like walking sticks. We cut a few, loaded a pick-up and took them to a walking-stick factory in Surrey, where staff weighed them and paid us for them. We realised we had a crop.”

The factory told Ben and Diana that to grow a never-ending supply of high quality walking sticks from clean shoots, they should convert areas of the woodland to the centuries-old system of coppice with standards (regularly cutting the trees to a stump and letting shoots regrow while leaving mature trees that are not coppiced at intervals between them).

They did just that and have revived this country tradition and perfected the craft for more than 30 years.

COPPARDING STYLE
It took a while to iron out any niggles, however. “Traditionally, a coppice stump is about six to nine inches high and the new stems grow from that,” explains Ben. “But we have lots of roe deer in the wood and the new green shoots are like fresh salad to them at that height. When we started, they nibbled these and our sticks grew as zigzags rather than straight rods.”

As deer can browse up to 3ft high, Ben decided to coppice the ash trees at shoulder height. “We joke that we do copparding, a cross between coppicing and pollarding.”

Ben and his team harvest the walking sticks every winter when the sap is low (too much sap affects the seasoning). They cut them usually at 4ft in length, when the rod is about four years old, heap them in a pile outside and then put them through a saw to remove any surplus wood before stacking them inside a moisture-controlled cabin for several years to dry out.

Ben opens the door to the drying shed, which has a sweet and earthy smell emanating from the soon-to-be walking sticks arranged on racks to the left and right. “Seasoning is critical,” he says, examining a couple of shafts labelled ‘2010’. “They’ll go back to their original shape after straightening if they’re still green.” Steaming and straightening is carried out in a tiny room tacked on to the side of the shed, where a couple of wallpaper steam strippers are connected to a small wooden box containing walking sticks. As soon as the rods have been steamed for about an hour to soften the wood, Ben takes one and gently levers it in various sized keyholes in a jig to straighten out the kinks and curves. “There isn’t a machine for this – you have to work it out for yourself,” he says, squinting down the shank towards a painted white wall for guidance. “Keep tweaking it and you’ll produce a dead straight shaft in the end.”

FINAL TOUCHES After straightening, the sticks go to the workshop where woodworker Alan White uses a combination of hand tools and machines to sand, rasp and file the stick to perfection. He’ll remove thorns from blackthorn rods, drill a hole and add a loop of cotton for a hiking staff, attach handles such as the popular black resin Labrador head or a piece of deer antler, varnish some and attach ferrules (a ring that strengthens the stick). “Each stick has its own quirks and you work with what Mother Nature has provided,” Alan says. “I try to capture the character of each one.”

Charlotte pores over the finished sticks waiting to go to the packing area (to be shipped to various places, including Abu Dhabi) and spots one of her favourites: an ash thumbstick with an indented spiral pattern. “This mark is made by a creeper such as wild clematis climbing up it,” she says. “I get excited when I see a twisted stick. These don’t come along often and they’re very special.” Charlotte and Ben talk about walking sticks as though the canes are living beings, referring to them as “he” or “a companion”. “Well, once you’ve had a thumbstick for 20 or 30 years, it is your friend,” says Charlotte matter-of-factly.

Great staff: Ben Porter and daughter Charlotte cultivate 20 acres of woodland. Each finished cane is a decade in the making.

Classic Canes

 www.countryfile.com – Credits – Words: Rosanna Morris Photos: Jason Ingram

Calling all Motor Home Tourists

If you are one of the thousands of people who like to tour around the country in their motor homes then we know of a great guide for you! Brit Stops TM  is a book guide listing over 500 places you can stop for the night FREE of charge in Great Britain.

The places are not camp sites but farm shops, pubs, vineyards and a variety of other places where you can park up for free. The guide costs just £30.30 (including P+P to UK addresses), not bad for this year’s touring!

The guide includes loads of useful information about each site including; a postcode (for your SAT NAV), easy to follow directions in lots of languages, facilities available, wireless or no, dogs or no, number of places available and more.

The Brit Stops TM guide is supplied with a badge for your front windscreen so that the hosts can see you are in the club.

Take a look at the gallery of pictures sent in by their club members to get inspired for this summer’s trip. Click on the picture below to take a look!

Walking Sticks for Your Hallway

Do you need walking sticks in your hallway?

I am an avid reader of Country Homes and Interiors magazine and love looking at the beautiful homes they feature. In the February edition there is a lovely feature on a cottage in the South Downs, Sussex and the owner has transformed it into a handsome home.

It was the ‘Boot Room’ and hallway pictures that really caught my eye. The owner has made every room look beautiful, comfortable and cosy and hasn’t missed out the utility rooms, doorways and halls that tend to get neglected.

Looking at my own rather ‘distressed’ hallway, full of shoes, coats, muddy wellies and other outdoor gear, I want to make mine look more like the Sussex cottage.

The flooring is fine, wood with a jute rug. The Sussex cottage has a brick tile floor with sisal rug. The walls are the same, painted white with wood beams. Now to the accessories (or the things dumped about). Firstly, coats are going in the cupboard, shoes in a nice basket, a selection of hats and scarves left on the hooks and there is just one thing I need to find or buy. An umbrella stand or an interestingly patterned tall pot to put the walking sticks and umbrellas in.

I like to have a selection of favourite sticks about the house, mainly the deer antler handled ones and a selection of handmade beauties. Umbrellas are a must too.

The window sill is cleared of Blue Tack, Lego figures, receipts etc and instead I put a favourite photo, some interesting stones and a vase of daffodils (well it is nearly springtime).

There we go, Homes and Interiors here I come!

Walking Sticks for Your Hallway
Walking Sticks for Your Hallway

Internet Shopping, isn’t it Great?!

I personally think internet shopping is great. I needed a very particular radiator key last weekend, of a particular diameter and gauge. So, while in my pajamas on Saturday morning, making pancakes and drinking tea, I decided to have a look on Ebay and there was the thing I needed for £2.30 plus postage!

Hurrah! The internet is awesome. I will get the key on Tuesday through my letterbox and I haven’t had to trawl around town getting stuck in traffic and looking for something no high street shop would possibly have in stock.

I went to a local question time evening for young adults (my niece) last week and one of the questions that came up was whether supermarkets were responsible for destroying the high street. I think this is quite an outdated question. Surely the age of internet shopping has changed more of our habits.. and for the better in my view.

The High Street should be for socializing and grocery shopping, flowers and nice things like that. Shopping is best done online, in the comfort of your own home, away from traffic jams, queuing, parking fees and everything else!

Online offers a huge choice and many things that are impossible to find in your local shops but are commonplace online and can be delivered to you every day of the week! Amazing!

Mobility Aids to Borrow

Did you know that in the UK you can borrow mobility aids for free from the Red Cross? The types of mobility aids include; wheelchairs, backrests and walking sticks and frames. The equipment is available for short-term loans and can be supplied in 24 hours in an emergency.

There are almost one thousand outlets in the UK and if you click on the following link you can search for your nearest outlet or the contact details for your local Red Cross office:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Health-and-social-care/Independentliving/Mobility-aids

Here’s what the page says,

“Mobility aids

We provide short-term loans of wheelchairs and other equipment at almost 1,000 outlets in the UK.

The types of mobility aids we provide include:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Backrests
  • Bath seats
  • Walking sticks and frames
  • Commodes
  • Bedpans
  • Urinals

How to borrow a wheelchair or other mobility aid

Contact your local Red Cross office to find equipment near you.

Donations

This service is run by volunteers, so we do request donations to help us provide the service. A refundable deposit may also be required.

Buy mobility aids

Visit our independent living online shop or get in touch with your local Red Cross office to check whether they sell equipment.”

Articles for the Blind – Free Post Service

Did you know that if you or someone you know is blind or
visually impaired you can have items sent to you by Royal Mail
for free.
I discovered this today when one of our lovely customers said
he would send in a label for us to send him some ferrules. So
as usual I Googled it (what an excellent new verb!) and
discovered that Royal Mail do offer free first class and airmail
postage for blind people.

The postage fee is waived when sending any of the following:

1. books, papers and letters – either embossed or in large print
(minimum font size 16pt)
relief maps.
You can also send visual and electronic media like:

2. computer disks and CDs
3. spoken audio, video (with added commentary) and electronic
media.
Equipment used by blind
people.The list
covers:

4. talking books and newspapers that are recordings from printed
books, journals, newspapers, periodicals or similar publications.
5. equipment used to play or record audio, video and electronic
media i.e. talking books and talking newspapers
6. electronic and optical magnifiers
7. games, mathematical devices, watches, clocks, timers and
8. measuring equipment
9. embossed or blank plates and devices for producing tactile
information
10. stationery for tactile information or for mail
11. mobility aids including sticks and guide dog equipment.

When sending mail “Articles for the Blind” needs to be written
on the outside of the parcel along with a special label (available
at Post Office branches). Mail can only be sent to the blind
person so mail that is addressed “to the occupier” isn’t valid. So
mail must be addressed with the recipient’s full name and
address.

For parcels going to a recipient abroad, they must have ‘Articles
for the Blind – CECOGRAMMES’ written or printed on the front.

Articles for the Blind is a scheme for Blind and visually impaired
customers who are registered as blind under the provisions of
the National Assistance Act 1948. We also include people
whose standard of close-up vision, with spectacles is N12 or
less and certified by an ophthalmologist, doctor or ophthalmic
optician.

All mail sent this way is subject to inspection so no confidential,
personal or sensitive mail is allowed.

If you would like us to send something to a blind or visually
impaired person in the UK or abroad, please send us your
special label with your order and contact details. We will then
call you once the label is received to take payment and process
your order.

The scheme by Royal Mail is called “Articles for the Blind” and
you can find out more about it here.