The sponsor of the Fifteenth English Open Chainsaw Carving Competition is Stokes of England Blacksmiths. We would like to thank Chris Stokes and his team for their sponsorship as well as for the wonderful trophies which the winners will receive.
Chris Stokes, Owner of Stokes of England Oswestry is no ordinary blacksmith. A qualified Tool Maker and Machine Tool Operator he developed his skills in general metal work before undertaking intensive training with his father, Joseph Benjamin Stokes, Master Blacksmith, and Master Farrier, UN Expert and Consultant in Blacksmithing to UN departments and other aid agencies.
Joe opened Stokes of England in North Shropshire in 1985 not just as the family business it was established as a training facility for overseas development and is the source of several Blacksmithing training manuals.
Through the peripatetic nature of Joe’s work with the UN Chris lived in various places in Africa. In Khartoum 1972, he swam the Nile at Wad Medani and witnessed the attempted coup of President Nimeri. A spell in Tripoli Libya in 1975 exposed him to the summary justice of Sharia law and in 1976 Joe’s work with the UN took them to Zambia.
Chris’s international experience, his innate skills and the exposure to the improvisation techniques taught by his father to African farmers, has greatly enriched the artistic nature of his work. He has undertaken commissions for, Prince Charles, The Omani Royal Family, the Oppenheimers, Owen Paterson MP, Madonna, Paul Simon, and people and organisations locally and throughout the UK.
You can see Chris’s work in the Blacksmith’s Marquee at Cheshire Game & Country Fair.