A CRAFTY Greenock man is aiming to revolutionise his hobby of woodturning — by starting a club for like-minded amateur artisans.

Alex Francis, 74, reckons it would be tree-mendous to bring enthusiasts and interested novices together to learn and share ideas and experiences.

The former IBM worker — who began his pastime 10 years ago — said: “I decided to buy an old second-hand lathe and then I just started playing around.

“It’s a wonderful thing to do and the great thing about it is that you can actually produce something in a couple of hours, or make something in your first lesson, so it’s very rewarding.”

Alex has made hundreds of beautiful pieces since getting involved, including pens, bowls and trinket boxes which he sells at craft fairs.

He said: “It pays for more materials and tools to keep me going.”

Asked why he is starting a club in Inverclyde, Alex — a member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain — said: “A chap from Bishopton and I travel through to Lenzie every month for a club but it’s quite a long way to go, especially in winter.

“The next nearest club is in Ayr, so I thought, ‘Why not just start a club right here?’

“Also, when attending the craft fairs a number of people I’ve spoken to have told me that they do woodturning too.

“So it would be great to get people together.”

His hobby is a big departure from his trade as an electrician and the work he did over a 22-year period for IBM, which included being on the production line, maintenance and putting together user manuals.

The first meeting of the Inverclyde Woodturning Club is due to take place in the Inverclyde Employability Trust Centre, Muirshiel Industrial Estate, Port Glasgow, on Wednesday January 18 at 7pm.

Alex says he developed his love of woodworking from watching his uncle and father, adding: “I’m aiming for people interested to meet other turners, learn from each other and share ideas.

“The woodturning community is a very friendly place to be.”

To find out more about the club, contact Alex on 07849565602.