A few years back my father gave me, my grandfather’s toolbox, as seen in the photo above. I was chuffed, it was full of tools both old and new. Indeed as a youngster I well remember the odd occasion whilst in my grandfather’s care we would ‘stooge about’ at his workbench. My favourite memory, is when he showed me how to make hot air balloons that floated up to the rafters in his loft. At other times we would make secret compartments in his house. He was big on secret compartments. One in particular I wondered if after he died whether anybody knew of its existence except me. I guess I’ll never know. Anyways my memories of this toolbox were fond ones and it reminds me of a time that was happy and carefree.
Still that was an era when my grandad owned the toolbox and now it belongs to me. The first act of sacrilege that I committed was when I removed the contemporary tools that were contained within and replaced them with the antique tools that I had collected over the years. All of a sudden, Voilá, it was transformed from a toolkit from a bygone era into a mini museum.
The second act of vandalism was when I decided to paint a mural on the front. I had the idea of painting an English pub type sign with sawyers in a sawpit. When I started searching for photographs to base my design, I came across, a book called; “The Book of Trades or Library of the Useful Arts” from 1805. Volume 1, page 68 contained a magnificent illustration of “A Sawyer”, which I duly lifted for my own purposes.
Interestingly enough, the said book was a vocational guide for young people to compare occupations and indeed such publications dated at least 200 years prior to this one. Reminding me of my recent encounter with my sons teachers who seem to want to pigeon hole him into some dead end career at the age of fifteen. The difference being at the earlier time 11 or 12 was probably more appropriate an age to begin your working life but I digress.
Having finished the mural I have concluded that I ain’t much of an artist but one day my son will inherit his great grandfathers toolbox and he will be free to do with it whatever takes his fancy. At this point however just trying to entice him from his virtual reality to stooge about with his Dad is proving to be a new challenge in itself.