Celebrating 25 Years of Turners Retreat

Since its inception in 1999, Turners Retreat has focused on delivering the very best customer service available, providing a diverse product range for woodturners and craftspeople. Regarded as one of the UK’s premier woodturning retail outlets, this year marks its 25th anniversary.

Established in May 1999, Turners Retreat has become one of the UK’s leading woodturning retail outlets. Serving as the retail arm of Robert Sorby Ltd, Turners Retreat has grown over the past 25 years, committed to providing a quality customer service and experience to craftspeople across the country. The company aims to create a sense of family and community for its customers, fostering friendly and long-lasting relationships. At its inception, Turners Retreat set out to emulate Craft Supplies, the UK’s top woodturning retailer. Drawing inspiration from this industry leader, Turners Retreat has strived to reach the same level of excellence and establish itself as a reputable source for all woodturning needs.

Independent expansion

Turners Retreat has witnessed significant growth and developments over the years. Initially, the business primarily relied on in-store and telephone orders, with occasional consumer show attendance alongside Robert Sorby Ltd. However, the advent of online ordering provided Turners Retreat with a new revenue stream through the internet. The success of online sales prompted the company to invest in developing its web presence, which now significantly contributes to overall turnover.

Turners Retreat recognised the evolving market and proactively expanded its services to meet the needs of woodturning enthusiasts. One significant initiative they’ve undertaken is the introduction of woodworking courses. These have become highly sought after, with bookings consistently being made months in advance. Woodworking enthusiasts from across the country – and even from international locations – travel to Harworth, Nottinghamshire to learn from renowned professionals in the field. Mick Hanbury – a woodturning master – and Kez Halliday – a pyrography artist – conduct these courses instore. The opportunity to learn from such experienced professionals has made Turners Retreat a go-to destination for individuals looking to acquire new woodworking skills or enhance their existing knowledge. The courses offered provide customers with valuable educational experiences, enabling them to fully explore and optimise their creative hobby.

Turners Retreat takes great pride in offering these educational opportunities and strives to ensure that customers make the most of the woodworking courses provided. The dedication and determination of the Turners Retreat team to establish themselves as a significant player in the UK woodturning market have proven to be highly successful. In March 2013, the company solidified its position by acquiring Craft Supplies. Since then, Turners Retreat has continued to grow alongside its loyal customers, who’ve played a vital role in its achievements.

Diverse product range

Turners Retreat – a proud supporter of woodturners and craftspeople – is committed to providing a diverse product range, reliable advice, excellent service and building strong and trustworthy relationships with customers. Whether you’re a professional woodturner or hobbyist, Turners Retreat has everything you need to fuel your passion for woodturning and woodworking.

As stockists of renowned brands like NOVA and Record Power, Turners Retreat offers state-of-the-art lathes, drill presses, bandsaws and other machinery. One particular highlight of shopping at Turners Retreat is browsing ‘The Wall’, which proudly displays an extensive range of Robert Sorby tools. Whether looking for gouges, chisels or skews, you’re sure to find the perfect tool to suit your needs.

The timber room is also an impressive feature – with a vast selection of wood species, from ash to walnut, and purpleheart to sycamore, there’s something for every project. Turners Retreat provides woodturners with endless possibilities for creating exquisite pieces, and pyrographers will also find a wide variety of blanks and accessories.

Their popularity in the pen turning community stems from the huge variety of pen kits, blanks and project kits stocked. Whether you’re creating handcrafted gifts for loved ones or preparing items to sell at craft fairs, Turners Retreat has all the materials required to make stunning pens that’ll leave a lasting impression.

Supporting makers & small businesses

Rated an ‘Excellent’ 5-stars on Trustpilot, Turners Retreat’s support for woodturners and craftspeople is evident. They’re not just a woodturning supplier, but a committed partner in helping customers achieve the best results in their woodworking projects. In addition, customers have the convenience of exploring the entire product range online and making purchases with just a click of a button, or, for those preferring a hands-on approach, visit the store in person and wander through the various aisles at your own pace, requesting assistance from the friendly team when necessary.

25th Anniversary Open Day

This continued growth has given the Turners Retreat team the opportunity to celebrate 25 years with its customers in 2024, and a special open event is due to be held on Saturday 8th June. For further information, join the Facebook event page or sign up to our mailing list.

Article published in The Woodworker Magazine (April 2024 Edition)

8th March 2024

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