wooden bowls by George Lailey

Look at these beauties that arrived int he post today.

George Lailey was known as the last bowl turner. He worked at the small Berkshire village of Bucklebury and before Kate Middleton was probably the most famous person form the village. He made bowls up to his death in 1958. Lailey’s lathe and tools are on display at the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading and were my original inspiration to rediscover the lost craft.  What a pleasure then to be able to buy these lovely old bowls from someone who bought them and used them for over 50 years. The one on the right is a particularly sweet one and I think I will use it in my own kitchen. What a great link with the past.

9 Responses to wooden bowls by George Lailey

  1. Jeff Bower March 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    It really is wonderful that you have and will use some of his bowls. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rob March 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    What a great find. Do you know what species of wood they are Robin?

  3. Robin Wood March 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    @Jeff yes I have quite a few of his bowls but they are sort of museum pieces for me. I have a breadboard which I was given 15 years ago on condition that I used it but I have not used any of the bowls. This one is already nicely worn, more use will be good for it.@Rob they are elm, all Lailey bowls are elm.

  4. For Woodness Sake March 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Congradulations on a fine aquisition.

  5. kevin thompson April 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    I can remember, as a 12 year old boy visiting his old shed at Turners Green, Bucklebury. Couldn’t have been very long before he passed away.

    It was intriguing to see him working the treddle and the long pole that extended outside the shed. He had a load of Elm Blanks stacked up in the corner and there was this marvelous smell of wood shavings.

    He always finished his bowls off with a piece of yellow wax on the rim & signed them on the base..

    It’s a shame they pulled his shed down.

    Kevin Thompson
    New Zealand

    • Robin Wood April 28, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Lailey died in 1968 aged 89. He ran turmeric root on the rim followed by carnauba wax, this rarely survives today though the pencil lines he often ran around the grooves still show 50 years on.

  6. Sheila Bleaden November 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    As a former member of the Lailey Clan I could not believe that I heard the very unusual surname on TV on Country file. This is one big family that split into to two, half in Wiltshire and half in Berkshire. I have traced a lot of the family tree but until this weekend had never connected with the name of George Lailey. What seemed so amazing was that I have a passion for bowls and particularly wooden bowls. Because of my love for wood I have been wood carving as a member of Westcountry Woodcarvers now for 14 years, loving every moment. Hows that for a coincidence???

  7. claire December 19, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Hi. Would you know where or how I could buy a bowl? I am related by my mother’s side to the Lailey family and would be lovely to have one in my home? Thanks

  8. Dawn August 28, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Hi, I was given two George Lailey bowls about five years ago, I use them on a regular basis and feel proud to own them,the large bowl is signed but the medium bowl looks like it’s worn off.Talented people should never be forgotten !!!