CHECK OUT THE NEW PHOTOS OF WCWA MEMBERS BUILDING A BUGGY   and

PHOTOS FROM THE RECENT ANNUAL WHEELWRIGHT CLINIC AT TEES, ALBERTA

 PHOTOS

and it is not too late to start planning to attend next year's Annual General Meeting - June 12-14, 2015 at Fort Whoop Up in Lethbridge, Alberta. There will be a side trip to the Remington Carriage Museum at Cardston, AB.  It will be hard to top the AGM just completed in the USA but this too will be a very interesting get together. Mark your calendars.....

Welcome ....

The Western Canadian Wheelwright's Association (WCWA) is a non-profit society set up to foster the skills associated with the carriage trade. We are not a professional trade organization which licenses or bonds our members. The membership of WCWA includes men and women at all levels of proficiency who are encouraged to share their knowledge with each other. The purpose of the Association is to promote and encourage the craft of wheelwrighting.

THE RETURN OF THE WHEELWRIGHT

When you arrive at this website you may be wondering why anyone would want to start an association related to the topic of building wooden wheels. It is, after all, the beginning of the 21st century. In terms of technology, we are light-years away from the horse and buggy era. But in recent years, more and more people have discovered the joys of driving horse-drawn vehicles. Carriage driving, wagon treks, pleasure driving, competitive driving, and chuck-wagon racing are just a few of the ways people use horse-drawn vehicles. I doubt if anyone could have predicted this turn of events in the early part of the last century, when automobiles inspired the public imagination. As carriage shops gave way to automobile factories, who would have thought wheelwrights would once again be in demand.

Today in North America, and in other areas of the world, the numbers of part- and full-time wheelwrights are growing steadily, accompanied by a growing need for information. Organizations such as the WCWA and their publication, The Traveller disseminate technical information to this growing body of interest. In recent years, new books on carriage building and the technical aspects of wheel building have found a ready market. The need for relevant technical information is particularly acute because many of the tradesmen who would have passed on their knowledge are gone. Gone too are the apprenticeship systems that supported the industry.

HOW THE WCWA GOT STARTED

We have been in existence since 1992, when three founding members got together to talk about networking and possibly doing a newsletter. The concept was that wheelwrights often work in isolation, in their garage or shop and in rural areas, in a barn. They seldom have the opportunity to talk to, and learn from, others of like interests. Several people came forward to establish the Association, a newsletter was started, and as they say, the rest is history. Currently, the Association has about 180 members and while a large number of our members are living in western Canada, we also have many members from the United States, England and Australia.

The Executive of the WCWA would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone who is interested in becoming a member. View the page "Membership" for more information.


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