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Article from Kettering Evening Telegraph 27 September 1975

Denis Hornsby at work

At 50-years-of-age Denis Hornsby has just added another string to his already busy working bow.

For after 35 years as a carpenter-joiner he is now turning his attention to making bobbins for the ever-increasing number of lace makers in the country.

At his home workshop at 149 High Street, Burton Latimer, Denis regularly turns out dozens of bobbins from as many as 14 different woods.

Earlier this week he was one of the main exhibitors at a lace-making and embroidery exhibition at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

Denis only started making the delicate bobbins six months ago after he was approached by a local lace maker who had difficulty getting supplies.

Although he knew nothing about making bobbins he soon learned the tricks of the trade and he has since turned out about 300.

“I enjoy making the bobbins but then I enjoy anything to do with wood turning,” said Mr Hornsby.

On average it takes him just five minutes to produce a bobbin on the lathe with the more intricate designs taking about 15 minutes longer.

A single bobbin costs 50 pence and a lace maker frequently requires from 40 upwards at one time.

He recently made a batch of especially durable bobbins for a group of Bedfordshire schoolchildren who are learning the art of lace making.

Denis has also updated a traditional bobbin-winding machine to suit present-day requirements.

The winder, costing £17.50 went on public display for the first time at the exhibition, which closes on October 10.

As well as making bobbins Denis also produces a wide variety of goods made from wood including bowls and ornaments.

Click here to read about the Hornsby Family.

Click here to read Denis's connection with the lacemakers.

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