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Jim Kingshott - Master Cabinet Maker

Any search on the web, using "Kingshott" as the sole key-word will bring up Jim Kingshott. He was a very famous cabinet maker and carpenter who was well known throughout the woodworking world.


Jim, in common with many of my branch of the Kingshotts, was not actually called Jim, nor indeed James. He was actually born Raymond John Kingshott on 7th January 1931 at 2 Sunnyside Cottages, Shackleford, Surrey. His father was the magnificently named Finisher Coronation Kingshott, who, perhaps unsurprisingly was known as either Fin or Fred. I do not know how it happened, but young Raymond was always known as Jim.


Finisher Coronation Kingshott was my great grandfather's brother, which makes Jim my first cousin twice removed.


I have a tape recording of Jim talking about what he can remember of his family. It is very interesting. In it, he describes how he "grew up amongst the woodshavings" at his maternal grandfathers cabinet making workshop and was apprenticed as a carpenter and cabinet maker in the 1940's at A J Tracey & Co Ltd. He describes one of his earlier jobs as working on the renovation of Kingshott Cottage.

For over 50 years Jim worked in the woodworking industry making everything from coffins to aeroplanes and until recently was Apprentice Master to the woodworking trade apprentices at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. Although Jim was well-equipped with machine-tools, and did not hesitate to use them when needed, his forte was in the making and use of handtools. He was a true Master Craftsman and probably did more to encourage traditional woodworkers in the UK than anyone else.

He wrote six books, produced numerous training videos and was a regular contributor to several woodworking magazines.


Jim married Violet Tidbury at Guildford on 30th June 1951 and had three children, all born at Guildford. Unfortunately his son John died at the age of 33, in a helicopter accident, leaving two surviving daugthers. The Kingshott name would have stopped as they both married, but one of his daughter's sons, Allan, changed his name to Kingshott in honour of his grandfather, so the name lives on.


Jim died on 25th February 2002 following a long and courageous battle with cancer. 


Jim's grandson, Allan Kingshott, followed in Jim's footsteps and is a qualified carpenter/joiner. He used to own Kingshott's of Dorset, a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom business based in Gillingham. He now works as a sole trader from home. This is his motif, a variation of that used by Jim.

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