Good Walking Stick to Buy for Christmas

We have sold quite a few of these of late! Our handmade antler thumbstick with an engraved collar. This is a good walking stick to buy for Christmas as it can be personalised.

Engraved Collar Antler Thumbstick
Engraved Collar Antler Thumbstick

Please order the engraving on the same page and we will have it made for you. Please allow 1 week to 10 days for delivery. The collar will fit a name and a date or something a little longer if we reduce the size of the text. Please email us if you have any questions about these sticks.

www.walkingsticksonline.co.uk/catalogue/walking-sticks/bt01-handmade-hazel-thumbstick.php

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.

 

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.

Pink Sticks. Pink and More Pink – This Season’s Colour.

Pantone (the colour experts) have two pinks listed in their Fashion Colour Report for Spring 2017;

PANTONE 13-1404 Pale Dogwood
Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.

and

PANTONE 17-2034 Pink Yarrow
Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.

Pale Dogwood is a very pale, dusty, woody pink and Pink Yarrow is like a dark fuschia. We have a few walking sticks to choose from in these colours. The metallic dusky pink Derby cane (order code 4640a) matches the Pale Dogwood colour (see below, click to go to the page)

Pink Adjustable walking Stick

 

and the Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick with Pink and Red Leaf Design is just like the Pink Yarrow.

Pink Folding Switch Stick

 

We also have some pink floral and other pinky patterned folding and height adjustable sticks available now too.

Easter Bunnies and March Hares

Have you started noticing the rabbits hopping about already? The usually crowd at the roundabout have appeared again in my village and the sun’s out! Daffodils are EVERYWHERE and it’s definitely Spring, hurrah!

To help celebrate Springtime we have some rabbit motif goods for you at some special Spring sale prices. This offer applies until the end of March whne some prices will be increased unfortunately (only because our suppliers have and we have to make a living!).

To got the discount, please enter code 20percent in the promotional code box at the checkout and click “apply” and you will see the amount deducted before you finish the purchase.

Our beautiful purple and white umbrella stick with 8 lovely rabbit silhouettes, one on each panel. For March only £20 instead of £25. You can use it as a rain umbrella (beware lots of admiring comments and attention!) or as a walking stick with it’s crook handle and metal tip.

Then there’s our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party rabbit topper walking cane on black painted shaft, usual price £33, this month only £26.40. The rabbit head topper is made from resin and painted white and the shaft is made from a hard wood, straight as anything and painted black. Complete with collar and metal ferrule, this is an excellent stick for the collection.

We also have a brown resin rabbit topper cane on brown wooden shaft. This one has a rubber ferrule and brass collar and costs just £41.60 this month instead of the normal £52.

So what’s the difference between a Hare and a Rabbit I hear you ask? Well, apart fron being different species, here are a few differences;

Hares are generally larger and faster than rabbits.
Hares have longer ears and larger feet than rabbits.
Hares have black markings on their fur.
Rabbits are altricial i.e. their young are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are generally born with hair and are able to see (precocial). Young hares are therefore able to fend for themselves very quickly after birth.

A young hare is called a leveret and a young rabbit is called a kitten, kit, or, least correct but very commonly, a bunny.
Hares have very long and strong hind legs, more so than rabbits.
Rabbits and hares both molt and then grow new hair. This happens in both spring and in fall. Rabbit’s brown summer fur is replaced with fur that is more grey. Hares, especially those living in cold, snowy regions, turn white in the winter.
Hunters say that hare has a much stronger, gamier flavor than rabbit (which actually does taste like a milder version of chicken).
Both rabbits and hares have short tails.
Comparison of Lifestyle and Behavior
Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often kept as house pets.
All rabbits (except the cottontail rabbit) live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares live in simple nests above the ground (as does the cottontail rabbit). Rabbits also have their litters underground. Hares rely on running rather than burrowing for protection.
Rabbits are very social animals and live in colonies. Male rabbits even fight within a group to become the dominant male. The dominant male rabbit then mates with most of the females in the area. On the other hand, hares live most of the time by themselves. They come together in pairs for mating only. There is almost no fighting among hares – they just pair off.
Rabbits prefer soft stems, grass or vegetables. Hares eat more hard food: bark and rind, buds, small twigs and shoots.

An Usual Walking Stick Collection up for Auction 21st June 2016

A very unusual collection of walking sticks is going up for auction on June 21st.

The most extensive private collection of walking sticks ever seen is looking to set an auction record at Chiswick Auctions.

walking-stick-collection

The collection amassed by a private collector, Roy Moore, consists of more than 400 walking sticks, each individual, each with a very special element; be it an exquisite porcelain design, or one that contains an extending tape measure for measuring a horse, or one that doubles as a working flute, or a glove holder. Ranging from mid-18th century pieces all the way through to the mid-20th century, these stunning walking sticks are works of art in their own right, with only the highest quality porcelain, silver chasing, gold and jade (to name but a few materials) were used to produce these amazing creations. The search for these sticks was extensive and they came from far and wide over the course of two years, therefore we anticipate huge global interest.

Please see link to the catalogue: http://www.chiswickauctions.co.uk/catalogues/160621/

The Magic Walking Stick & Arabian Nights by John Buchan and Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Magic Walking Stick
The Magic Walking Stick

I received this wonderful book “The Magic Walking Stick and Stories from the Arabian Nights” as a present last week and what a gem! This edition was published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, London, and made and printed by Purnell and Sons in Paulton (Somerset) and London in 1932.

There are some beautiful notes inside, written in a child’s hand, “Read most of it” and “The Magic Walking Stick by John Buchan” and “This is Mark’s book”

There is also a personal message that says, “David John Russel Kitiwake, given to him by his father November 3rd 1934”

The illustrations are gorgeous and amazing alone and the chapters have intriguing titles such as, “The Adventure of the Ivory Valley”, “The kidnapping of the Kidnapper”, “The Restoration of Prince Anatole”, “The Crowning Adventure”, “The Adventure of the Royal Larder” and “The Going of the Staff”.

The story really kicks off on page 39 (just making the 40 page rule) where it is revealed that the protagonist (Bill) has come into the possession of one of two magic walking sticks. His father happens upon a book in his library with a passage that reads, “Et assumpsi mihi duas virgas, unam vocavi Decorem, et alteram vocavi Funiculum; et pavi gregam” in latin.

His father reads from a Bible;

“Look up the seventh verse of the eleventh chapter of Zechariah and read.”
Bill read: “And I took unto me two staves, the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.”
“You understand that?” his father said. “The prophet had two staves, one called Decor and the other Funiculus; that is Beauty and Bands. One was for comfort and the other for discipline – you might say one was a walking-stick and the other a schoolmaster’s cane. Now the book I have been reading – it is a volume of Acta Sanctorum, the ‘Doings of the Saints’, and it was written in Germany in the twelfth century – syas that these staves were real sticks and that they had magical power. They lay in the treasury in the Temple of Jerusalem until the Emperor Titus sacked it and carried them off.  After that they seem to have roamed for centuries about Europe, Charlemagne – you have heard of Charlemagne? – had one, and the Emperor Justinian had one; but they disappeared as soon as they were misused. The point about them was that they were magic sticks and would carry their possessor anywhere in the world he wanted to go to. But the trouble was that you could not be certain what was their particular magic. They were as alike as tow peas, but one was Decor and the other Funiculus, and if you treated Decor like Funiculus it took the huff and disappeared. If it was Decor it would take you gallivanting about the Earth for your amusement and never complain. But if you used it ofr some big serious job, it was apt to leave you in the lurch. Funiculus was just the opposite. It was all right in things like battles and rescues and escapes, but if you took it on a pleasure trip it would let you down.”
Bill listened with breathless interest. “What happened to the sticks?” he asked.
“My books says that in its time, that is the twelfth century, Funiculus had gone over the horizon, but Decor was believed to be in the possession of the Emperor Frederick….It’s a good story, isn’t it? I daresay it is the origin of all the old witches’ broomsticks with wills of their own. Hullo! Hullo! it’s six o’clock, I must see Thomas about tomorrow’s covert shoot.”
When his father had left, Bill sat for a long time in meditation. Clearly he had got one of the two staves which had come down from the old prophet in the Bible and had drifted for two thousand years through the hands of Popes and Kings. The question was, which one? Was it Beauty or Bands?

Then the adventures start and it’s great! The ending (spoiler alert!!) is this:

“Let every boy and girl keep a sharp eye on shops where sticks are sold. The magic staff is not quite four feet long and about one and a quarter inches thick. It is made of a heavy dark red wood, rather like the West Indian purpleheart. Its handle is in the shape of a crescent with the horns uppermost, made of some white substance which is neither bone nor ivory. If anyone sees such a stick, then Bill will give all his worldly wealth for news of it.”

The other half of the book is a compilation of stories from The Arabian Nights including; “Story of the Fisherman and the Genie”, “Story of the Magic Horse” and “Story of the Seven Voyages of Sinbad of the Sea”. All exciting stories with the same wonderful pictures.

This enchanting book is next in line after I finish reading the Famous Five books to my two sons.

 

Walking Sticks and Stick Insects

You probably know this already, but Americans call stick insects “walking sticks”. Try searching walking sticks in google.com and see what you come up with.

Wouldn’t it be funny if you received an Indian Stick Insect in the post instead of that beautiful Derby cane you were after! Ahem.

walking stick insects
walking stick insects

Stick insects are fascinating creatures. My son got some last year for his birthday. He wasn’t impressed as they were about 1cm long when they arrived in the post. But within 3 months they had grown to 8cm. They shed their skins, they play dead, they sway gentle from side to side when you blow on them to pretend they are foliage blowing in the wind and they are nocturnal.

They are incredibly easy to keep as pets. Ours just ate stinging nettles and privet leaves with some water sprayed on them everyday, easy!

Mr Kaboom’s Walking Stick

“In 2012, a Mr Kaboom of Akron, Ohio, caused panic after leaving an aluminium walking stick engraved with his surname outside City Hall.”

This fact was taken from 1,339 QI Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop
by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson

Highly recommended. Also recommended are the other titles;

1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off

and

1,411 QI Facts To Knock You Sideways

and

QI: The Book of General Ignorance

and

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance: The Discreetly Plumper Edition

These books are all excellent and completely blow your mind. Saying that, I am wowed at the time but have completely forgotten everything by the next day! Which is actually quite good as I can re-read them and be wowed a second and third, usually fourth time anew, great! Who needs short or long term memory anway?

Walking Stick Quotes

Much to my surprise, I haven’t managed to find that many quotes considering
how many people have (for the last thousands of years!) and do use a walking stick. I have included the best
ones below. If you know any quotes, poems, articles or interesting facts please do send them in!

“The best, the most exquisite automobile is a walking stick; and one of the
finest things in life is going on a journey with it”
Robert Coates Holliday

“When you have no companion, look to your walking stick”
Albanian Proverb

That is why, no matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane, straightening my derby hat and fixing my tie, even though I have just landed on my head.
Charlie Chaplin

$3000 for a walking stick…sounds reasonable.
Scott Disick

Depend on your walking stick, not on other people.~ Japanese Proverb