Sunday, 5 February 2012

Full circle.

It's funny how you hear things about family, distant or close that seem to resonate with you. A friend who had built an entire stone building/shed, once told me that years afterwards he learnt that an ancestor was a stone mason. He was sure that this was why he chose to build with bluestone, despite never having laid so much as a brick beforehand. Now those of you who know me, know that I'm not exactly pre-disposed to the paranormal or such stuff. Hocus pocus I say.

The name of this blog, Rundell & Rundell? Well as well as being our name, it is what Lisa and I intend on naming our business and shop when we build it, here in Kyneton. A connection to the past? Yes, my distant ancestor was Philip Rundell, first of Rundell & Pickett fame and then onto the famous ( in some circles! ) company, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, who were silversmiths and jewellers to the Royal family. Pretty obvious choice and besides,  I think it's got a nice ring to it.

So fast forward to our trip to the U.S. I find myself standing amongst the treasure trove of tools in Patrick Leach's garage. The best of every antique tool, but my eye just keeps being drawn back to his large bucket of carpenters or framers slicks. For those who are unsure, a slick is a chisel on some serious growth hormones! I choose one, a Whitherby, 3 inches ( 75mm ) wide and well over a foot ( about 400mm I reckon ) long, before the handle.

Of all the other tools I pack to ship back home to Australia, the slick and my beloved Stanley 608c are the only two I can't bear to part with and I pack them in my suitcase.

So what, you say?

Well, when I turned the new handle for it about a month ago, I must have stared at it for weeks, just waiting for the chance to use it. I must have picked it up a hundred times and felt its weight and heft.

I then get my chance, forming the mortices and tenons on my timber frame for the cottage. I even post about it on this blog.

A good friend, Leigh emails me and comments on Jan 30th,
Quote "The construction in Kyneton looks as though it is progressing well.  A three inch slick is a real shipwright's or bridge builder's tool - I am sure it is very satisfying to see it do its job! " Un-quote.

Again, so what?



Yesterday, I travelled up to Bendigo with my Dad, his brother Stan and my cousin Craig, Stan's son. Stan took us to see the grave of my Great Great Grandfather, Joshua Upcott Rundell. Stan had found the unmarked grave site from original records and maps of the cemetery, had placed a plaque on the grave and re-layed the original hand made bricks which outlined the grave, but were found sunken under  ground.

So as we are standing there, I turn to Stan and ask,"what was his occupation?"
"Bridge builder," says Stan.

Sitting here tonight I search the records on the net for Joshua's father, William Rundell, born around 1787. His occupation? Look down the bottom.


  • Name: William Rundell

  • Given Name: William

  • Surname: Rundell

  • Sex: M

  • Birth: 1787-1788 in Maker, Cornwall, UK

  • Christening: 20th Jan 1788 Maker, Cornwall

  • Death: 1875 in Devonport?, Devonshire?, England?

  • _UID: E71687A6021B4BD3B9C090A6F21184C96496

  • Change Date: 5 Apr 2010 at 10:25

  • Note:
    Shipwright


  • And where did Joshua Upcott live? Sutton Grange, he owned the pub there. Sutton Grange is just over 30 mins drive North of here. And I thought I really had no previous affiliation with the region. 


    Turns out it wasn't just my carpenter Grandfather, Charles' blood coursing through my veins. That slick has been waiting for me for the longest time.

    2 comments:

    1. Nice story! Thanks for sharing!

      ReplyDelete
    2. You're welcome! It brought a smile to my face...

      ReplyDelete