Forthcoming RFS Events

Regional Furniture Society Spring/Summer 2023 events are now open for booking.

Please apply for these events by 1st March, using the booking forms available to print from this site. Numbers for all events are limited and allocated in order of receipt. This website will be updated when an event becomes fully booked.

Hammersmith Riverside Arts & Crafts: Friday 21st  April 2023

A day exploring the riverside between Hammersmith and Chiswick occupied by disciples of William Morris and later residents connected with the decorative arts. Starting around 11:00 at The William Morris Society at his home, Kelmscott House, Hammersmith Mall, followed by a tour of Emery Walker’s riverside home, largely unchanged since his death. We will lunch at a riverside pub or cafe (not included in the fee) continuing along Chiswick Mall to Fullers Brewery, founded in 1845, where we have the option of taking a guided tour ending with a tasting of Fullers ales. £25 for the morning, and £25 for the afternoon brewery tour, not including lunch. Book on this form.

Gillows and Lancaster: now postponed to Thursday 3 August 2023 (originally postponed to Tuesday 25th July 2023 from Thursday 11th  May 2023)

A visit to the recently reopened Judges’ Lodgings Museum with its collection of Gillows furniture. We will also visit Lancaster Priory and take a tour of Lancaster Castle including Joseph Gandy’s spectacular Shire Hall, the courtroom, and the basement cells with nineteeth-century restraining chairs (additional fee) and the the Church of St John the Evangelist, recently reopened by the CCT following restoration from flood damage. £15 not including refreshments.

FURTHER UPDATE 14 March 2023: The Judges’ Lodgings in Lancaster have just announced a special exhibition in the summer. Our visit scheduled for 11th May first deferred to Tuesday 25th July, has now been postponed to Thursday 3 August 2023 so that members may meet the Curator. The extended closing date for applications remains June 1st.  A revised booking form is available to download here, or you may wish to amend the green paper form enclosed with the latest newsletter.

John Parry’s Collection: Sunday 9th July 2023 (not 5th)

A visit to John Parry’s latest collection of furniture near Wrexham. The visit is timed to enable those travelling from the conference at Bangor to include it in their itinerary. Priority will be given to those attending the conference. No charge to those attending the conference. £10 for others. Book on the Conference booking form.

North Wales Conference, Bangor: Wednesday evening 5th – Sunday morning, 9th  July 2023

Provisional programme: Travelling by coach over the three days, we will explore the coastal area around Bangor including Penrhryn Castle with its slate furniture, and Plas Mawr, Conway. Crossing over to Anglesey we will visit a Folk Museum and have been invited to view a private collection of furniture. The third day will take us eastwards to Gwydir Castle, recently reunited with its panelled rooms sold to Randolph Hurst, and visit a number of churches and chapels whose simple exteriors bely lavish interiors with good woodwork. The day will terminate at Plas Newydd, the eccentric home of the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’. Based at Bangor university, accommodation will be in single rooms. The fee includes all meals from Wednesday evening, with the possible exception of one lunch. £595, with a possible later surcharge of no more than £50. Book on the Conference booking form.

Jeremy Bate

Regional Furniture Society – Notice of Annual General Meeting 2022

With a ‘normal’ Conference being held in June in Somerset, we are able to return to holding an AGM
‘in person’. However, some members who were unable to attend Conference welcomed the use of
Zoom AGMs, and so we plan to arrange for those wishing to attend via Zoom to be able to do so also.
This will depend on the Ibis Hotel Bridgwater’s equipment functioning properly.

The Annual General Meeting of the Regional Furniture Society will be held at the Ibis Hotel,
Bridgwater and by Zoom at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday 26 June.

Members who wish to take part in the AGM via Zoom should email the Secretary on:
The Secretary will then forward to those members the access code for the Zoom meeting and the
Agenda and the Minutes of the last AGM, the proposed amendments to the Constitution and the
Annual Report & Accounts for 2021. This will be done a week before the meeting.
The Annual Report and Accounts for 2021 are also available on the website; any member requiring a
paper version should send an A4 self-addressed envelope to the Secretary, requesting a copy.

Jeremy Rycroft

Grinling Gibbons and the Story of Carving: Conference at the V&A, 24 and 25 June 2022

Members may be interested to know of the forthcoming two-day conference ‘Grinling Gibbons and the Story of Carving’ which will be held on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June 2022. Details for booking may be found on the V&A website where a link to the draft programme may also be found.

Speakers currently scheduled include:
Ada de Wit ,Curator of Works of Art and Sculpture at the Wallace Collection, London;
David Luard of Luard Conservation;
Alan Lamb, formerly of City and Guilds of London Art School, and Head of the Historic Carving Department;
Dr Frances Sands, Curator of Drawings and Books at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London;
Dr Gordon Higgott, independent architectural historian;
Dr Kira d’Alburquerque, Curator of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum;
Dr Lee Prosser, curator – historic buildings at Historic Royal Palaces;
Nick Humphrey, Curator of the Furniture Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum;
Dr Jonathan Tavares, Curator, Applied Arts of Europe Department, Art Institute of Chicago;
Lisa Ackerman, Associate Conservator, Art Institute of Chicago;
Dr Tessa Murdoch FSA, independent scholar;
Professor Lauren R. Cannady, University of Maryland;
Wendy Frère, doctoral student, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)/Fondation Périer-D’Ieteren;
Maria Cristina Gigli, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Firenze; and
Sandra Rossi, Director, Painting Department and Wooden Sculpture Department, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Firenze.

Spring Events and Annual Conference

The following events are now available for booking via the website or by application to

Visit to Ercol Factory, Princes Risborough, followed by the re-opened Wycombe Museum, Thursday 24th March 2022.

Please note that we are now fully subscribed for the Ercol factory visit but are able to offer places to those wishing to join us for lunch and at the Wycombe Chair Museum and an afternoon devoted to their collection. The fee is the same (£20) since Ercol are kindly not charging us. 

Leeds and West Yorkshire Carved Oak Furniture of the 17th century, Thursday 12th May 2022. UPDATE: Please note that this event is now fully booked

Somerset Annual Conference – Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th June 2022. UPDATE: Please note that the Annual Conference is now fully booked.

Please book by 1 March 2022.