There’s a pretty impressive stock of tools on the shelves in Lords, Lower Road, but the range doesn’t compare with the kit Anthony Forshaw, Store Manager, has in his shed at home. Anthony’s vast collection of old saws, planes, chisels, bradawls, vices and the like are not only handsome to look at but most are fully functional, having been painstakingly restored by Anthony.
“ I love the challenge but more so that it’s about preserving history. It’s very satisfying bringing them back to life again. I take on lots myself or occasionally take them to Workaid at Chesham who refurbish tools and machinery and send them to Africa.”
Anthony’s tools take up just one small area of his shed/workshop, or his Man Cave, as wife Tina refers to it. The rest is crammed with all sorts of household paraphernalia – copper kettles, cameras, typewriters, sewing machines, stoneware bed warmers, valve radios even a host of war time relics from helmets to ammunition boxes – the most endearing being a baby’s WW2 gas mask.
“If my kids (Nathan,20, and Lewis,16) aren’t aware the thing exists it make it even more interesting to own! They were both fascinated with the valve radios.”
The common denominator in the Man Cave Museum, with the exception of Guinness promotional memorabilia and other retro brand-linked decorative objects, are things that serve/d a purpose.
His pride and joy is a vintage projector bought at a boot sale from a Lords’ customer.
“It’s a big 16mm reel machine and I was so chuffed when I switched it on – I had made it work – there was even film with it I could watch!”
Customers (when the shop was Poores) have donated a few items to Anthony’s collection, sometimes without intention!
“ One brought in a 60s Addis squeegee mop marked at 23s/6d asking if we had any in the shop and another customer showed me a little box of Bayonet tacks. I managed to get both for them and asked if I could keep the packaging!”
Best boot sale finds to date (he is a regular hunter at Chorleywood and Wendover sales as as well as antique shops) include a wooden cash till dating from the 20s and a Victorian writing slope
“The lock was rusted and blocked so I cleaned it up and took it into Lords and sorted out a key in half an hour.”
Anthony isn’t the only Forshaw magpie. Collecting is a family passion. Tina loves vintage Oxo and marmite tins, jars and old kitchenalia while Nathan is into microscopes and balances
“ I got my love for Oxo from my grandmother – since I was 10 years old, she would bring a box of Oxo and I would enjoy a hot Oxo drink every night. I love Marmite on toast for breakfast every morning!”
When he is not working at Lords or out treasure hunting chances are Anthony will be relaxing with Yorkie Timmy at his side, sipping a beer from a vintage Guinness glass and watching Salvage Hunters or American Pickers on the Quest Channel (Sky/Virgin Media) .
“ Brilliant programmes. Just love them!”
Anthony welcomes donations dropped in at Lords and will take any he can’t renovate himself to Workaid
Photos: Brigitte Bott