Our Ashford Story

Everyone has a Grandfather, mine was the handyman type, big hands, bright blue eyes that sparkled and a permanent smile. Visiting in the school holidays was always a treat. I was allowed to watch Grandpa tinker in his back shed, the saw dust smelt so delicious. Grandpa would make me these beautiful wooden eggs from special pieces of timber he collected all over New Zealand.


My Grandfather was Walter Ashford and when he wasn't making wooden eggs for me he was busy making wooden Ashford products for you. Walter Ashford started back in 1934 making kit set Ashford Toys & Wheels for sale in the Home Journal, I guess with his Ashford Wheels still turning 80 years on, he must have got the design right!

There is still a wee bit more to this story so I will start the next chapter by saying that everyone also has a Mother. Mine is Gay, I remember when Mum started selling kit set Ashford products from home, there was no room to park the car in the garage anymore so she sold it, that was 1984 some 38 years ago.

Mum and Dad soon after bought a beautiful property South of Cooma called Past Times which became home to Ashford Australia for the next 25 years. 

The doors at Past Times closed in 2010 allowing me to open them here online where Ashford Australia brought the complete range of Ashford products available across Australia.

With the introduction of a new name in 2017 I decided to connect with my past and this is where I met Aunt Jenny. Jennifer Rendall-Shaw was my Great Grandmother and she knew a thing or two about crafted living!

Mother to Joy Ashford and Grandmother to my mother Gay. Jennifer was a published writer and always began her next story before the ink could dry on the one she had just finished. She lived a crafted life turning her hand to everything and anything she needed too. Never waiting for her "ship" to come in, she would always row out to meet her next adventure.

She signed off her stories as Aunt Jenny and her words spread far from the shores of Inch Clutha in the south of New Zealand where she lived. I have read all the stories that have been handed down from generation to generation and discovered a love beyond words.

If it's an Ashford product that you have had for 80 years in need of some TLC or you are after a fancy new one, take your time to browse the range online. Aunt Jenny is an experience beyond textiles and we hope to be part of your very own rich woven tapestry.

We are never far away so if you need a hand just ask Aunt Jenny xx Rewa


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