14 April 2024, 00:30
By Furniture News Aug 20, 2014

Furniture Village teams up with The Heritage Crafts Association to mark its 25th anniversary

To mark its 25th anniversary and ongoing support for traditional British manufacturers, the UK’s largest independent furniture retailer, Furniture Village, has teamed-up with The Heritage Crafts Association to identify – and celebrate – the last surviving practitioners of trades that were once thriving British industries.

The Heritage Crafts Association, the advocacy body for traditional heritage crafts, is concerned with preserving trades important to supporting individuals, communities and the wider economy.

Robin Wood, chairman of The Heritage Crafts Association and owner of ‘Robin Wood’ – a handmade wooden bowl manufacturer included within the list– says: "These old crafts are recognised worldwide as being part of a nation’s living heritage – they are as much a part of our culture as singing Jerusalem at the Proms - they are the art of the people. Each old trade or craft that we let die-out diminishes us culturally as much as if we allowed our cathedrals or nature reserves to deteriorate. As a traditional craftsperson, my skills are recognised by many foreign governments.

"I have been invited to work and show my craft in China, the USA, Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, France, and Ireland, yet despite all these other countries recognising my work, in the UK there is no central body to preserve and promote traditional crafts. We want people to support the cause in which we try to promote, not only by being made aware of The Heritage Crafts Association and the endangered crafts, but also by encouraging them to get involved in these rare crafts, by means of funded apprenticeships. If something could be done to aid the training of these skills, we would be able to keep them going for years and hopefully generations to come.”

Robin is concerned that modern Britain is not doing enough to save skills and knowledge that exist only in the minds of the diminishing number of craftspeople who specialise in particular fields.  

Charlie Harrison, director of marketing at Furniture Village, says: “Traditional British heritage is valued all over the world, and that is only one of the reasons it is imperative to draw attention to the unique products offered by these endangered businesses. Furniture Village recognises that signature British crafts are valuable to our own business, and I believe that we can all do our bit to support British specialist trades.”

Throughout July 2014 the Furniture Village website – which receives over five million visitors annually – will be profiling these last endangered British trades, showcasing them within local stores, as well as providing details on how online visitors to purchase these unique products.

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