St Albans carpenter wins Maltings Community Award

A wooden games carpenter has become the latest winner of a Maltings Community Hero Award for 2019.

For the past 15 years, Peter Templeman has designed and hand crafted a variety of wooden games for community events around St Albans.

Peter is booked up nearly every weekend throughout the year with school fairs, church gatherings, youth group meet-ups and special needs groups.

He attends all the events for free: “How can I tell a five-year-old that ‘sorry, you can’t play, you don’t have the money’? I can’t.

“Every event should have a free activity so there is somewhere for kids to play and the games I have are suitable for every age, from five to 105.”

Peter’s idea blossomed after the Oaklands College technician needed to make some child-friendly activities for an open day.

A resident of Jersey Farm for about 25 years, he was awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018, and said: “Everyone has a talent in life, and I am very lucky I have found my talent.

 “I make wooden games and use them to teach kids. I come up with a crazy idea, design it, make it, and run with it. I love designing it, I get a kick out of thinking ‘Can I make this work?’

“Making the games is great but these things need an outlet – it would be pointless unless I make kids laugh and smile, that’s brilliant.

“The games are purely for fun but they also develop monitor skills as well. Kids love being challenged so long as it is achievable.”

Using tools in the Oaklands College construction department, Peter spends hours making the games in his lunchbreak at work and then stores them flat-pack at his home.

Peter said: “I play them all. To learn the tactics and show the kids how to best work them out.” He urged children to stay imaginative as they grow up.

The person who nominated Peter for the award described him as “a lovely, generous-hearted man who really deserves some recognition”.

As the August winner, Peter receives £100 to spend in any of The Maltings shops and is entered into the Herts Advertiser Community Awards finals in September.