In the beginning, Holtzapffel and Evans & Co. existed in the late 17th century to the early 19th century. They were the major manufacturers of ornamental lathes during that era.
In 1948 the Society of Ornamental Turners started their group in the UK. Les Stennett started it all in an article in the Australian Woodworkers magazines, dated Nov-Dec 92 and Jan-Feb 93, by requesting names of wood turners in general who may be interested in alternative methods and design to their wood turning.
Then along came Geoff O'loughlin's publication, again in the Australian woodworker Mar-Apr 93, in which he described how to make a Rose Engine lathe, a very simple design using one of the timbers we all had in our sheds. Both these publications started wood turners thinking that there could be another way to embellish their work (Ornamental Turning) so small beginnings such as these got the O T G A started (Ornamental Turners Group Of Australia).
The OTGA has since incorporated. Cyril W Brown made history for the group producing the first OTGA newsletter No. 1 May 93. Together with the support of 13 members, Cyril remained editor until No. 26 July 99. Cyril was really the backbone of the group with his newsletters, his editorials and writings in the Australian woodworker also in the SOT (Society Of Ornamental Turners) bulletins. Cyril had a quiet a wit about him when it came to describing OT work. Cyril was certainly an organizer and I have no doubt he is upstairs organizing all the old wood turners that went before him, Cyril you are sadly missed.
The group is both Australia and New Zealand wide.