Yesterday it was off to Westminster to meet John Penrose the minister for Heritage.
Ministerial diaries are busy and it is not easy to get a meeting at this level and when you do you rarely know how long you will get beforehand, it can be anything from 20 minutes to rarely as much as an hour. When we arrived the minister was deeply engrossed in telephone conversation with Simon Thurley of English Heritage and we could feel the clock ticking, thinking if this was eating into our 20 minutes it could end up being a long journey for a few minutes meeting.
It turned out to be a very positive meeting however. John Penrose was sharp, attentive and interested in what we had to say. We also had Annabel Houghton, DCMS heritage adviser and Jon Hoare deputy director DCMS and everyone was constructive and looking for ways to improve the situation for the crafts. One meeting will not solve any issues but the more people that become aware of the issues facing working crafts people the more likely we are to see positive. The heritage team are going to look at the issues we raised and suggest potential partner organisations we should talk to. We also hope for a statement from John Penrose saying that he recognises crafts skills as part of our heritage.
Yesterday Westminster, today back to the workshop.