Surrey Walking Stick Factories and Chiddingfold Bonfire Night

Looking through the archives, I found some very interesting pieces about walking stick makers in Surrey.

Lintott and Co (1876-1968) were walking stick makers in Witley, Surrey. Mr. Leonard Lintott of Downland, Petworth, originally a wood-cutter, founded his walking-stick business in 1858. He began by sending cut chestnut and ash to other manufacturers and later made walking-sticks himself, and, with the help of his sons James (Jas), Henry, Thomas and Geoffrey, the business and subsequent partnership thrived.

The Lintotts bought the cutting rights of local woods and had their own plantations, the wood from which was made not only into walking sticks, but also shepherds’ crooks, scout poles, umbrella handles, hockey sticks and army officers’ sticks.

The business lasted approximately one hundred years.

The Lintotts Walking Stick factory was based in Chiddingfold in Surrey and produced thousands of sticks which were exported all over the world. The range of tools and equipment was fairly small but totally unique.

Today, Chiddingfold is probably best known for its famous bonfire night event, which began as the mere burning of brittle remains from the walking stick factory! Nowadays, the event attracts up to 10,000 people who come from miles around to see the firework display and torch lit procession. A huge pyramid is built on the village green and local people bring  various bits of wood, trees and old furniture to gradually fill it up. Last time I saw it, there were some very nice pieces of furniture and sofas in there!

Coppice wood was also used directly in rural industries
such as the manufacture of hurdles, hop poles
and brooms and it was shaped by steaming to make
hoops for barrels and walking sticks.

Coopers and Sons Ltd were also based in Chiddingfold from 1991 to 2003.

A walking stick factory at Wormley, which also made
shepherds crooks for export to Australia, moved into
the manufacture of modern walking aids in the twentieth century.

Watch the British Pathé video below all about stick making.