Traditional crafts have been part of our culture since the Dark Age’s and before but is it important in today’s society; does society care enough about its heritage?
I believe the answer is yes........or a least progressive yes. Recently there has been a rise in the publicity of certain crafts within British society. a few days ago the BBC published an article about some of the last craftsmen in the country who are fighting to save the trades
also the guardians John Henley has also created a disappearing acts series looking at a select few traditional crafts that are part of Britain’s cultural heritage. This series is on-going and gives a good account of each craft (though if some what short).
Last year the telegraph also published an article on Britain’s last master cooper Alastair Simms. this article explained that when he joined there hundreds of coopers practising their trade across Britain but due to shortage in materials and rise in use of metal barrels that there is only one last master in England. A sad fact when coopering is a trade that dates back to Britain’s roman roots.
What I also want to talk about is a crafts person known as George Lailey. George Lailey was the last professional bowl turner in Britain from an unbroken chain of bowl turners before him spanning to over 4000 years. However George died in 1958 breaking the chain which in turn saw the extinction of bowl turning in Britain. If nothing is done to preserve traditional crafts then we face another generation of George Lailey’s and we stand to lose more than just bowls.