MEMBERS of the Midlands Woodworkers’ Guild donated toys to two charities recently. Letcee in Greytown and the Sthokozize Creche at Mpendle were the two charities that received toys from the organisation. The Midlands Woodworkers’ Guild was started in Pietermaritzburg in August 1988 — more than 30 years ago. Originally known as the Natal Midlands Woodworkers’ Guild, the name was later changed to the Midlands Woodworkers’ Guild. A guild is a medieval term referring to an association of artisans or merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The chairperson of the organisation, Aubrey du Plessis, said in a statement: “Our guild serves people who are interested in any discipline of woodworking in the entire Midlands area with members from as far afield as Hillcrest, Greytown, Karkloof, Howick, Hilton, and Pietermaritzburg. “We currently have 101 members, men and ladies, and are looking to further increase our membership. We would also like to encourage young people to aspire to the craft of woodworking, especially as it is no longer offered in most schools.” THE OBJECTIVES OF THE GUILD:1. To draw together woodworkers of all disciplines to share knowledge, help one another, enhance members’ skills, learn others’ skills, and teach others when requested.2. To have demonstrations by those highly skilled in their respective fields.3. To have regular meetings.4. To encourage members to exhibit and compete at the Royal Agricultural Society annual show and elsewhere.5. To contact similar clubs in South Africa and elsewhere with a view of sharing ideas.Meetings of the guild are held regularly on the evening of the second Tuesday of the month, commencing at 7 pm at the Crafts Hall at the Royal Show grounds, Pietermaritzburg. Visitors are very welcome.A variety of talks, slide shows, demonstrations and videos are presented at the guild meetings by experts in various fields of woodworking and related topics.A show and tell slot is available at monthly meetings where members; whether beginner, novice or advanced; are encouraged to bring articles that they have made. Du Plessis said: “We are fortunate to have several qualified judges in our guild who are always willing to give guidance. “The guild also offers a free library service and an extensive and up-to-date selection of books and magazines is available to guild members at guild meetings. “Members also receive a comprehensive and fully-illustrated monthly newsletter with all the news, views and happenings. There is also an excellent and up-to-date Facebook page.” Various projects are undertaken through the year. This year the guild were present at the Royal Show in May and at The Witness Garden Show in September where a range of woodworking skills was demonstrated by members in the Crafts Hall throughout each day. Members also demonstrated at the Wings, Wheels and Whistles exhibition (an exhibition of various hobbies) in August. With this toy initiative, the guild aims to provide toys to registered crèches and organisations catering for a number of children so that each toy can be enjoyed by many children. This year over 200 beautiful wooden toys; including a large variety of push and pull toys, “play” stoves and ironing boards (each with an iron), various puzzles, blocks, carts (from small to large), trains, tractors, trucks, aeroplanes; and even a rocking horse were donated. There were also material balls stitched by a ladies’ sewing group and a few books. “Other charity outreach programmes are also undertaken,” Du Plessis added. For further information on the guild or any of their initiatives, contact Du Plessis at 073 335 4017 or 033 347 3145 or visit the Facebook page: Midlands Woodworkers Guild.