Sunday, 7 November 2010

Chairs reports

HCA committee are incredibly hard working and achieving a lot but much of what we do isn't stuff that is easy to put out in the public domain. I do a chairs report before each committee meeting and thought it might be interesting for our supporters to see these too. I'll copy the last two here in the hope that it is of wider interest to our supporters and to let you know what we are up to. I have had to remove just a couple points from of the more sensitive advocacy work but otherwise this is what we have been up to in brief note form. Just so it isn't all dull text here i'll pop in a few pics taken recently at the last scissor factory in Sheffield EH Wright & sons.


Progress since meeting 18th September 2010

HCA admin

Recruiting administrator  Recruiting subcommittee have advertised the post and a good number of applications received. Closing date 10th Nov shortlist 12th interviews 19th Nov.

Strategic Plan  Completed by Patricia after much consultation, to be updated periodically and have financial forecasts developed in the future to turn it into a business plan.


Sir Patrick Cormack  meeting of significant people from the heritage world 1st Feb Athenaeum progressing. Invite list agreed invitations sent.

HLF  After much speculation HLF and EH not to be amalgamated so HLF remain with enlarged budget. Congratulatory message to Jo Reilly and received v friendly response.

English Heritage Agreement to meet with John Edwards who leads on Craft Skills 18th Nov

DCMS John Penrose  Heritage and Tourism Minister. Patricia and Robin to meet Nov 16th

BIS  Skills Consultation document drafted, discussed and submitted.

John Hayes speech at RSA could have been reading from HCA manifesto. Clear evidence that our advocacy is working. Letter written to request meeting.

CCSkills  Chris and Robin to meet Caroline Felton new CEO Nov 18th.

Harry Reeves UNESCO UK Continued efforts to book meeting without success.

Christopher Frayling  Invited as speaker at spring conference had previous engagement but sent very nice reply.


Sheffield   City Council recruited staff and initiated audit of metal trade skills.

Councils Survey  Greta has started as an intern working on a survey of councils  to find out what if anything they do for traditional crafts in their area.

Other news and events


V&A spring event Date set for spring event at V&A Sat 19th March 2011 and a great program of speakers booked. Tanya Harrod, Alex Langlands, Stewart Linford, Sopie Hussain, Gail McGarva. After some discussion decided to opt not for break out sessions but long breaks for informal chats. Also “instant gallery”.

NETS Confirmation from Hereford that funding has been secured for this years courses but at a reduced level and with employers/learners needing to make a contribution. Still a success for HCA advocacy.

Training for the traditional trades Robin attended a meeting called at short notice 22nd Oct in York to discuss this subject. Good presentation on French apprentice/journeyman system and good networking opportunity but not an initiative that looks like progressing.



 And this was the previous meeting

HCA CHAIRS REPORT  18th September 2010

Progress since meeting 12th June 2010

HCA admin

New Committee member
Following his attendance at last meeting and group discussion it was decided to invite Steve Byrne to join the committee

Funding for administrator

Headley Trust  agreed grant of £30,000 over 2 years to fund part time administrator. Recruiting subcommittee formed and most of relevant paperwork and policies produced.


Greta Bertram has agreed to undertake some intern work for us following her MA at UCL. starting Oct-Jan

Ltd Co Status

Discussion via google group concluded Ltd Company status a good idea particularly once we are an employer though not essential in short term. Concluded it could be something for new treasurer to help with when recruited.


Generous donation of £1000 agreed by vote at APTGW AGM. Also from the Fletchers Trust £250 Sussex and Surrey Coppice group £100


Sir Patrick Cormack

Patricia and Chris met Patrick Cormack (ex chair arts and heritage committee) he has booked Atheneum club for Feb 1st 10.30am to host meeting with about 12 influential  invitees to discuss Heritage Crafts issues.

Radcliffe round table

Robin represented HCA at this meeting of various agencies involved in heritage and crafts notes circulated.
Also meeting with Jo Reilly HLF who is still keen to help us with a your heritage bid.

Craft Central

Potential link organisation. Offered exhibition space at Clerkenwell.


Robin keyynote speaker at t National Heritage Training Group AGM 14th July.


Chris attended launch of bursaries scheme at Hampton Court


Patricia represented HCA at the blueprint 1 year on meeting June 26th
Chris met with Caroline Felton new CEO


We continue in our efforts to encourage HRH POW to be our president. Good communication and we are hopeful.

English Heritage

Letter from Simon Thurley chief exec making clear their current remit.

Chester Council

Brian met and established they do not keep any record or register of traditional craftspeople

Sheffield Council

After establishing that there is no one within council responsible for traditional crafts and continuing negotiation council have set aside money and staff time to audit skills of metal trades.

Press and Publicity at Shows
Article in National Trust magazine on traditional crafts, apprenticeships etc brief mention HCA.
RW attended Glastonbury and Norfolk Shows and had volunteers helpers with HCA stand alongside. Generated some interest though no noticeable jump in sign ups. Probably not worth pursuing show presence in the short term.
Living Woods magazine and Craft and Design magazine continue to feature us in most issues.


City Council allocated funding and staff time to audit metal trade skills.


James  presented us with a draft research brief based on our initial proposal. We have some misgivings and need to work on resolving and rewording before going back to James.

Construction Skills

Lee Bryer and Seamus Hanna of Construction Skills happy to offer advice, also passed on brief that resulted in their successful 2008 building skills research.

Other news and events

HCA coordinated campaign to save NETS appears to have been successful. Ian Peak principal at Hereford tells us that funding has been agreed in principle for the courses to continue though some more detail needs to be worked out before there is an official announcement.

V&A spring event

Date set for spring event at V&A Sat 19th March 2011. Tanya Harrod and Alex Langlands booked to speak. Final arrangements on program still to be made.


New apprentices now working at both sievemakers and scissor factory.



  1. putting these up is a great idea - it's always difficult to know what a committee DOES and to see all the different topics moving on like this is pretty impressive!

  2. Thanks LR, we will put them up each meeting from now on. HCA committee is not a talking shop we all work incredibly hard on this stuff because we feel passionate about it. Having an administrator will help lighten some of the load but also help us take advantage of some of the opportunities we have had to pass by due to lack of time and the need to make a living in our day jobs.