This year we’ve had intermediate course students from as far away as Brazil, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago.

But Richard Reid from Sydney, Australia becomes the student who has come the furthest.

He joins our other Australian student, Alex Stanton, who is on our professional course.

Richard, a retired property developer, also lived for over ten years in Dubai and Cairo.

His journey to the Chippendale school began courtesy of one of our former students, Helen Guy, whom Richard has known for many years.

He was in Scotland to watch Scotland play rugby against Australia, and Helen invited him to the school.

“I looked around and was impressed by the character of the place,” says Richard.

“I was also impressed by the quality of the pieces the students were making,” he says.

After retirement, Richard joined his local Men’s Shed, a concept that started in Australia and has spread internationally.

As the Australian Men’s Shed Association puts it: “Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life,

“The bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and would like something meaningful to do with that time.”

It was there that he learned some basic woodworking skills and made a hall table.

His project at the Chippendale school is to make an olive ash sofa table.

The school’s intermediate course is designed to both teach woodworking skills and to also enable students to make pieces of furniture to take home with them.

A sofa table is a similar kind of table to a hallway console table, but at a lower height to fit behind a sofa.

Richard only joined us last week, is thoroughly enjoying the course, and his table is already coming along nicely.