Arthur Clifford – Tasmania

Arthur began his woodchopping career at the age of 23. Weighing only 10.5 stone, he was considered light for the sport and found it a great challenge to win against much heavier competitors.

Arthur was from a large family and found it hard to obtain a good axe for competition until one day he found and old ‘plumb’ with a chunk broke out of it. He ground the axe to a fine edge and won his first chop at the Cornish Mount Hotel.

At the age of 28 he took up tree felling, winning at the Royal Hobart Show, followed by successes at all the major shows in Australia.

Arthur has been associated with his local club Cygnet for many years, and coaching the younger competitors. He has designed a new axe, and has great skill in free hand grinding of axes. He makes all types of handles out of Tasmanian Blackwood which is considerably cheaper than hickory, and some axemen say, a superior handle. He found also that ordinary crack willow was very light and strong for shoe boards, and is recognised as the preferred board timber.

He designed and innovative tree holding clam which saved 25% of the pole wood. The modern clamp is an update of Arthur’s design which spread to every state in Australia.

Career Highlights: 

  • His tally of tree wins at age 72 in excess of 130
  • At age 70 he won the Royal Hobart Show tree felling handicap, the oldest to have done so.
  • He won at the gala 150th Royal Perth Show.
  • Won 2 gold and 1 silver medal at the Australian Masters Games
  • Represented Tasmania against the rest of Australia in Melbourne 3 times.
  • Represented Australia in the veterans competition in New Zealand aged 65.
  • Has been selected in the Australian over seventies vs New Zealand February 2007.
  • Awarded Axeperson of the year 1998.