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In a poignant farewell, a fervent accumulator of antiquated implements prepares to part ways with an expansive assortment comprising over 2,000 distinct items.


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John Morris: A Near Half-Century of Zeal for Tool Gathering

John Morris, an octogenarian residing in Woodingdean, has devoted a significant portion of his life—nearly 45 years—to the pursuit and refurbishment of venerable tools. Presently, he has resolved to relinquish his cherished collection, encompassing artifacts aged beyond three centuries. Morris aspires to entrust these singular possessions to individuals who reciprocate his admiration.

Quest for Connoisseurs to Inherit the Assemblage

Conversing with The Argus, Morris elucidated, “Initiating in 1978, I have derived immense gratification from this endeavor. This predominant pastime entailed procuring, rejuvenating, and rendering these artifacts functional. Approaching an advanced age, I am cognizant that my remaining time is finite. My aspiration is to preclude my wife Judy from bearing the burden of managing this collection. Consequently, I seek to liquidate it, entrusting it to those who manifest a genuine appreciation, rather than those intending to resell.”
Morris has commenced the dispersal of his blacksmith tools via eBay, intending to group and vend remaining items according to their corresponding vocations—such as farming, cobbling, and coopering. He anticipates this strategy will facilitate their acquisition by appreciative collectors.

A Transformation: From Number-Cruncher to Furniture Fabricator and Curator

Morris’ enthrallment with tool collection originated in 1978 upon receipt of a sizable bow saw from his sister. Prior to this, he toiled as an accountant in London, enduring daily commutes from Brighton—a phase of his life he found unpalatable. In 1956, seeking an alternative, Morris transitioned to employment as a junior member at a furniture manufacturing facility.

Salvaging Corroded Instruments and Amassing Rare Artifacts

Over the years, Morris diligently obtained tools in states of severe disrepair and deterioration, investing incalculable hours in their restoration. His assemblage showcases relics from an array of trades, including blacksmithing, cobbling, coopering, engineering, photography, farming, engraving, plumbing, wheelwrighting, and printing.
Morris takes pride in several exceptional items, such as a cork crusher employed by pharmacists to insert corks into medicinal glass bottles, and a marmalade cutter, employed to shred oranges during the fruit preserve production process.

Judy, Morris’ wife, openly expressed her affection for the collection and the melancholy she experiences contemplating its dispersal. Following the sale, Morris intends to repurpose the vacated space, installing an oak table to create a cozy room. Although childless, Morris remarked, “Every visitor exhibits genuine intrigue toward the collection.”

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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