Society’s Facilities

The following is a list of the facilities we currently have available :-

There is sufficient on-site parking available to cater for a large numbers vehicles.
We have tea room facilities for you to grab a cold drink, make a cuppa or have a snack, when you need a rest from the lathe or just want to sit down and have a chat.

There is a well maintained Library with a large variety of books, magazines, DVD’s and more to cater for all your requirements. There are some chairs in there if you want to sit down and have a read to get some inspiration from the pages of the many books on offer, or if you prefer you can borrow the item out for a small fee and peruse it in the comfort of your own home. Please refer to The WSQ Library page for a more detailed look at what’s available.

We have an equipment and supplies store for the convienence of members. It’s very usefull should they require a specific tool to use or if they need to buy some supplies like sand paper, dust masks, etc. Club shirts and dust coats are also available for purchase.

We have a variety of machinery available for members to use. These include a Vermec mini lahte, a vairety of both long and shortbed Vicmark, Jet and woodfast lathes. We also have a large Thornly Bandsaw and smaller AV bandsaw. Several bench grinders for you to sharpen your chisels with, as well as a drill press.

Britannia Lathe

Name Plate

This old lathe is at least 100 years old. Its original brass name plate definitely identifies it as a Britannia. From the size and detail and particularly the treadle and flywheel, its a Model 4 Improved Foot Lathe, but unlike the illustrations of the time, it has a gap bed. As Britannia had a very flexible mix-n match policy, its likely that this was offered as an extra. Unfortunately, the fill-in to make the bed continuous is missing on our lathe.
It was most likely purchased without the cast iron frame as it has feet for attachment to a bench or other stand. The existing wooden frame is old and could be original. It is still sturdy but the treadle is well worn.

Image Britania Lathe  Image of Britania lathe without the Base

A small group is being formed to take a special interest in this piece of history, and when the leg muscles of the group are well developed, it will be used for demonstrations.
The Britannia Lathe and Oil Engine Company Limited had its roots in the early 1800s and had many affiliations and offshoots, one of which was still around in the 1980s. Their base was in Colchester, Essex, England.
We continue to research the origins and the times of our lathe. We are aware of some excellent web sites. If any visitor to this site can offer any information, please send us an email at

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