The Reading Room Press

a private press-sponsored gate

It is almost sixty years since the public footpath that ran outside the window of Coneygar Lodge - the home of The Reading Room Press – was diverted 20 yards down the road into the adjoining meadow. Visitors for N.A.D.F.A.S., S.W.E. and O.G.P. picnics parking in the field, will have been familiar with the gate.

This picture was taken several years ago. The gate had deteriorated further; indeed it disintegrated when removed from its hinges.

There seemed to me to be such a warmth of vernacular craftsmanship about the gate I thought it worthwhile replacing it like-for like rather than with the ubiquitous tubular steel affair. With the farmer’s blessing I commissioned a local carpenter to build another one.

All the iron-work was preserved. The hinge post remained unmoved. The delightful latch was restored. The wooden knob atop the plunger was turned from a boxwood billet discarded and rescued many years ago from the fire from a man making pub-skittles.

This could well be the first time a private press has sponsored a gate. I am grateful to Tim Morris, the land-owner for supporting my endeavour; to Trevor Sallis for making the gate; to Andrew Ives for supplying the latch-post; to Nick Sandford (“gates float my boat”) for fettling all the iron-work and both expertise and enthusiam throughout; to Peter Dunn for help hanging and digging and to Ian Stephens for providing the boxwood.

The Reading Room Press

© Miles Wigfield 

2010 – 2024