This has, to date, been Shire\'s best selling book, and it\'s not hard to see why. The text and diagrams are meticulous - the exploded diagram of the construction of a bay window still impresses me after twenty years. From it I learned that a timbered building local to my house was of \'Wealden\' design. I used the book in junior school as the basis for a freelance illustrated \'topic\' book, where I might have breached copyright had my emulations of the artwork been better! It still provided inspiration in my mid teens, when I gathered sticks from the wood, whittled them to near-square beams and, always an ambitious modeller, constructed a Wealden house frame based on diagrams in the book. It wasn\'t great in the modelling stakes, not adopting proper use of the various joins, and was held together with wood glue and cocktail sticks, but I remain proud of it. A little stuck for how to create the \'infill\' panels, I opted to leave it as a timber skeleton. Unfortunately I kept no photos of it, and after an optimistic coat of wood preserver, it rotted in my parents\' garden without trace. I\'m almost tempted to make another…
Strange really, that I now work for the publisher who had such an influence on my childhood - and that nearly twenty years later a fuzzy-edged copy of the book still sits on my shelf. Hopefully some of the books I work on will provide equal inspiration for children of all ages!
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