It has been a very busy week with lots of work, a mini break camping trip with an old friend to Robin Hood's bay but the highlight was yesterdays meeting in a basement in London where we made major steps forward with out new Heritage Crafts Association.
Our committee has grown to 8 and we had an all day meeting to thrash out our aims and objectives, a business plan, financial planning, website, and we also decided on our organisations name "The Heritage Crafts Association". Here is a very dodgy camera phone image of what may prove to be quite a momentous occasion.
Whenever I talk to folks about what we are doing people are amazed that there is not already an organisation to look after and promote "living heritage". We have English Heritage to look after buildings, Natural England to protect the landscape but no one to champion the living heritage. That is all the aspects of our culture that make us who and what we are today. This includes folk dance and songs, customs like pancake day, bonfire night or Notting Hill Carnival and the area that our new orgnisation is championing Heritage Crafts.
We hope to work with other organisation and government to preserve and promote our heritage crafts ensuring that they are passed on to the next generation. Once they are gone it is incredibly hard to recapture the lost skills so passing skills from one generation to the next has always to be the first priority. We are aware of many heritage skills that are in crisis. English Heritage have done much work to help with skills that are involved in building conservation but whilst they are are very supportive of our group and have offered good help and advice their remit does not extend to all the crafts not conected to buildings. So the last cooper, sievemaker or folding knife maker all fall outside their remit. We have taken on the chalenge of ensuring these skills survive.
We have a tremendous range of skill and experience in our small group and we are confident that we can make a real difference. Watch this space.
And now a few gratuitous holiday snaps.
One of my favourite places in Whitby, St Mary's Church, parts of the building dating from the 11th Century I liked this rather fine roof and the layers of alterations from 11th through to 19th centuries.
And when in Whitby you can't leave without visiting Fortunes for kippers. Proper hand craft food production the small smoking shed driping with the tar of many years smoking.