Regional Furniture Society Events for Spring & Summer 2017 – the full list!

The full schedule of events for Spring/Summer 2017 is now available in the current Newsletter and online here on our Events page.  On the Events page you can also find and download the booking forms for both the Conference in Suffolk, in July, and all of the fascinating one-day events. Book now to avoid disappointment!

For further information and enquiries about RFS events and bookings please contact: events.rfs@gmail.com.

 

RFS Events 2017: A Study Day in the Lake District, Tuesday 21st March 2017 – booking now!

The schedule for 2017 is now available on the Events page and the first RFS event of 2017 will be A Study Day in the Lake District held on Tuesday 21st March 2017. Booking for the Study Day is now open  – please apply by 1st March. 

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View of Town End Farmhouse by Jeremy Bate

Until the discovery of the Lake District by the Romantic Movement in the late 18th century, this was a remote corner of England with a unique furniture history. Our day starts at the Armitt Museum, Ambleside, founded in 1912 to preserve and share the cultural heritage of the Lake District.

The Armitt’s collection includes the Great House Press from Troutbeck dated 1634, which local RFS member and Lakes furniture specialist Frank Wood rescued, restored, and described in the 2014 journal. Frank, our guide for the day, hopes to borrow further interesting pieces from outlying sites for our benefit. The Armitt Museum also holds important collections of Beatrix Potter’s early natural history watercolours and paintings by Kurt Schwitters,.

After lunch nearby we will travel the short distance to Troutbeck, one of the least disturbed villages in the area – largely of 16th and 17th c buildings – for a private visit to Town End farmhouse (NT) the home of the Browne family for over 400 years. Town End retains its original plain oak furniture preserved and ‘improved’ by the last George Browne in the late nineteenth century and is the only accessible farmhouse in the Lake District with a quantity of original vernacular furniture. We hope  RFS members with specialist knowledge of Lake District furniture will be available to share their knowledge with us. We will end the day with tea at the Old Post Office in the village.

Maximum: 30 members  Cost: £50 including lunch and tea (no reduction for NT members). Download the Booking Form here.

Members may choose to stay over and visit the highly regarded Jerwood Centre at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage at Grasmere, Beatrix Potter’s cottage Hill Top at Sawry or Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House overlooking Windermere.

EDIT: Visit to The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is now fully booked

This visit is now fully booked.

New events and visits will be listed on the website in the New Year!

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We had planned a visit to the historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry, whose history began in the reign of Elizabeth I, for next autumn. However, we have just heard that the company will shortly close the premises in east London that it has occupied since 1738. We have been offered this date in February instead.

Possibly England’s oldest limited company, the foundry’s bells have rung out around the world. They include Big Ben, the largest bell ever cast by the firm, as well as the 1752 Philadelphia Liberty Bell, the bells of the Armenian church in Chennai, south India, the Bell of Hope that commemorates victims of the 9/11 attack and innumerable bells in the village churches of England.

On our visit, guided by the managing director, we will discover the materials and techniques of casting bells in bronze and be surrounded by medieval examples undergoing restoration. We will also be able to handle the very popular handbells which the company export throughout the world.

Jeremy Bate, Membership Secretary

New events for Autumn 2016

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The programme and booking form for forthcoming RFS events are now available in the latest edition of the Newsletter and online on the Events page. The main Autumn event is a tour of the London Charterhouse. In addition, the Tools and Trades Society have invited RFS members to join them at a Technical Day at the Kelham Island Museum and Ken Hawley Collection Trust in Sheffield –  further details here.

Exhibition of Lincolnshire Chairs, 8th – 18th September 2016

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Members will be interested to hear about an exhibition of the largest collection of Lincolnshire windsor and rush-seated chairs to be held at Belton House this September. This will be a fascinating chance to learn about fine local chair-making and the best local craftsmanship, with several talks by William Sergeant from the Lincolnshire Chair Museum.

There will be free entrance on Saturday 10th September to coincide with the National Heritage Open Day.

RFS Events this Autumn

There are two new events on the schedule for this Autumn.

Treasures of the North West, Friday 16 October

Visits have been arranged to Browsholme Hall and Stonyhurst College, both Grade I listed halls dating predominantly from the Elizabethan era. An optional visit to another North West property will be arranged for the morning of Saturday 17th, if there is interest. The cost will be £35 to include coffee and light lunch; if there is sufficient interest an additional visit will be arranged to another local property on the Saturday morning.

For full details please see the full listing on the Events page

Christopher Gilbert Lecture, `Local sensibilities in bench end carving in Devon and the West Country, 1480 – 1650′, Dr Todd Gray MBE,  7 November 2015

Dr Todd Gray is Research Fellow at Exeter University;  his lecture explores the use of design, principally Gothic and Renaissance, by English and continental craftsmen amidst the changing religious considerations of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The lecture will be held at the Geffrye Museum London and the cost is £10 to members.

For full details please see the full listing on the Events page