# 12 – My Brian Vincent ‘Nancy’ Spinning Wheel

Yes, that’s right, I’m now the owner of 12 stunning spinning wheels and this wheel was made by a Brisbane spinning wheel maker during the late 70s, 80s and into the 90s: Brian Vincent. Whenever I come across an unusual wheel I instantly start researching it to find out as much as I can about the maker. In this case, I contacted the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists requesting whether any of their members had any information about Mr Vincent. What a surprise to find out that Mr Vincent’s daughter, Helen is a member of that group!

I contacted Helen and she very kindly gave me lots of interesting information about her Dad. Mr Vincent passed away in 2007, aged 96. He’d been very active in his workshop until a couple of years prior to this. He made Helen one of his wheels, after teaching her to spin on his demo wheel. He usually sold them with three bobbins. Mr Vincent also made lazy kates and niddy noddies. He also made Helen a jumbo flier, with two bobbins, and she got him to modify a couple of her ordinary bobbins with a smaller whorl for lace weight spinning. Helen has been using her wheel since about 1981 and she has worn out three fliers and had them repaired.

Helen believes her Dad might have started to make stainless steel fittings, when he acquired a metal lathe and started metal turning. Originally the brass fittings were made by Selwyn McCullough, a good neighbour and friend. Sel’s wife Ina was a member of the Queensland Spinners, and it was his idea to make the wheels for the fledgling spinners group who mostly purchased the Ashford traditional from New Zealand in kit form (both have now passed on). Cecile Falvy, founder of the spinners group, gave Mr Vincent suggestions to modify the wheel. She called it the Rolls Royce. It is a well-balanced wheel and very fast, and Helen loves it. Cecile sent Helen a photo of a portrait painted of her with the wheel, called “The Spinster”. Mr Vincent said the wheel was Norwegian in design, and Helen believes he found the design in a Woodworker magazine. Mr Vincent was a member of the Queensland Spinners for a while and helped with maintenance of the hall.

At the time Mr Vincent started making wheels Helen was living in Adelaide, but she retired in 2001 and returned to Brisbane and moved in with her Dad. Helen joined the spinners in 2002, when her Dad took her along and introduced her. Helen has been spinning for 34 years or so. She also knits, crochets, weaves and felts and she loves to work with alpaca.

Helen kindly sent me a photo of her Dad taken on his 92nd birthday, in 2003.

Brian Vincent 92 in 2003

I am so grateful to Helen for answering all my questions via email. I am so proud to be an owner of this gorgeous Nancy spinning wheel made by Mr Brian Vincent.

Vincent Wheel 06

It is made from Queensland maple with brass fittings.

Vincent Wheel 07

Truly beautiful craftsmanship…

Vincent Wheel 09

I love the built-in lazy Kate…

Vincent Wheel 08

And the tension mechanism is so easy to use…

Vincent Wheel 10

Vincent Wheel 11

I cannot stop looking at the beauty of the woodwork…

Vincent Wheel 12

My wheel also came with four large bobbins…

Vincent Wheel 14

Vincent Wheel 16

Vincent Wheel 17

It even has the original Dymo tape labelling…

Vincent Wheel 05

You could say I am one happy spinner to be the owner of this stunning wheel.

Vincent Wheel 15

I now have two Brisbane-made wheels: this Vincent ‘Nancy’ wheel and my Roy McKnight Suitcase Wheel.

And don’t forget, there’s lots of information about Australian spinning wheels on this site.

And just to let you know, Helen, your Dad’s wheel is in good company.

Wheels x 12 8-11-14 02a

Wheels x 12 8-11-14 03a

Wheels x 12 8-11-14 04a

Now, I wonder what my # 13 spinning wheel will be…..

I’m also a bit chuffed as one of my blog posts about knitting Christmas decorations has been linked to the multitaskingmummy.com blog. It’s the very last Christmas craft idea.

Until next time….

Melanie

 

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8 thoughts on “# 12 – My Brian Vincent ‘Nancy’ Spinning Wheel

  1. Love seeing your new wheels! I’m going to live vicariously through you until I can afford to fit more wheels into the house. (Already snuck in 3, got my eyes on a 4th!) I have a cousin in Australia and I so, so, so much wish there was a greater variety of wheels in the area I live.

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    • Thank you so much! Victoria in Australia seems to have lots of wheels for sale. It’s taken me about 2.5 years to accumulate my 12 wheels. I really enjoy owning them. Good luck in your pursuit of more wheels 🙂

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  2. Hi Mel, Brian was my Grandfather. It’s wonderful to see his memory living on in his work. I have so many beautiful memories watching my Gramps work in his workshop under the house as a little boy. I’m so happy to read that you get so much enjoyment from his work. Incidentally, “Nancy” was his wife, my Nanna.

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    • Hi Gary, thanks so much for your comment! I feel quite privileged to own a spinning wheel made by your Grandfather. I was at the Qld Spinners Open Day on 7 May this year where I saw one of their members selling a Brian Vincent Nancy wheel. I was so tempted to buy it but I think one is probably enough 🙂 I am assuming you’re Helen’s son? I bought her book on Working with Alpaca a while ago and recently referred someone else to that book as it’s a wealth of information. Thanks again for leaving your comment.

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      • Hi Gary, I bought it from one of my spinning group members for $150. She had previously brought it along to a group meeting and had $250 on it but I had so many wheels that I just couldn’t justify another one. When it didn’t sell, she put it on Ebay for $150 and I weakened. I am so glad I did as it’s a beautiful wheel and spins like a dream. I managed to pick up another bobbin at the Qld Spinners Open Day in May this year so I now have five bobbins 🙂

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