Hello, and welcome to the last Newsletter of the year. It’s been a funny old year, I expect that many of us will be pleased to see the back of it. I hope that you and yours have managed to come through unscathed; I know that we have lost some good friends this year, due both to the pandemic and other reasons, and our sincerest condolences to anyone out there who has been affected. I hope we can all look forward to a better year next year.
And for the last Newsletter of 2020, I’m going to be very slightly self-indulgent and talk about us, Chestnut Products, but I promise you these are all questions that we’ve been asked…

During one of our Conkers LIVE sessions I alluded to the fact that there are only three full-time members of staff at Chestnut Products – and that includes me. Someone asked if, with such an international presence, if that was really true. The answer is yes, there’s just the three of us at Chestnut HQ, we all just work very well together and very efficiently, and if you’ll allow me I’d just like to publicly thank Melissa and Mary for all their hard work during this very difficult and testing year. It really is appreciated.
We’re also very lucky to have a good support network of family and friends who step in and help from time to time, so a thank you also to Mandy for putting up with everything this year (Conkers LIVE is broadcast from our kitchen, which can be quite disruptive) and for her help, to Dave for all the bits he’s done and also to Tim for his work in the background.

As I write this the other hot topic is Brexit, and we’ve been asked how this will affect us. We trade a lot with Europe as well as other parts of the world, so we’re fairly well versed in the requirements of exporting and the tariffs, duties and other bureaucratic duties we need to meet, although there will be some differences with trading with Europe (I think – it’s still too early to tell). There has been another, unexpected complication for us, regarding the regulations surrounding hazardous materials (many of ours fall into this category, not least because of their flammability). That one is still a work in progress but we’ll find a sensible solution.

And we’re always being asked ‘what will next year bring for Chestnut?’ Well, personally speaking, having had to cancel pretty much everything this year, I’m looking forward to a holiday or two! I’m also hoping that at least some of the shows and exhibitions we enjoy attending will also be able to take place and we can get out and see you again.
We’re working on some different products as well, I never like to say too much in case they don’t come to fruition though. There’s one that we’ve been aiming towards since the beginning of the year, but getting hold of anything has been a nightmare.
I’m also planning to get back in the studio and get some more YouTube films made, and we’ll be continuing with Conkers LIVE for at least the first six months of 2021, coming back with Glenn Lucas on 11 January.
Don’t forget Question Time on 22 January, we’ve got some questions already but more are welcome, just email them in.
And, possibly most of all, I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to hold our Woodturning Weekender. The first one was a real blast and if we are able to have another in 2021 we’re going to do everything we can to make it even better – I think we all deserve a party! Watch this space for news!

And, that’s it for this year. Unless you’re going to be joining us for our Twixmas Quiz now confirmed for 29 December at 7.30 on our YouTube channel. And I do hope you will join in the fun, it won’t be anything serious I assure you. There will even be an exclusive Chestnut themed musical interlude. To take part, just click the link to go to our YouTube page and set a reminder.
It’s now time to thank you, for your support this year, whether it’s using our products, posting on our social media, watching Conkers LIVE or just reading the Newsletter every week. It’s great to have you there, sincerely, thank you.
I hope you have a great Christmas and look forward to seeing you somewhere soon!

Festive wishes,