Just recently Mainly Lace received a query from a customer as to whether the Lace Guild was still running, and I wondered how many other lace makers know little or nothing about The Guild.
The Lace Guild headquarters are in a Victorian house in Stourbridge. It is stuffed to the walls with:
- a comprehensive Library (available to all members)
- a wonderful Museum and collection of antique lace and equipment.
All activities have their own committees and a member on the Executive.
Education plays an enormous part of the Guilds activities and Courses, workshops and a summer school are organized each year for members and non-members alike. Lacemakers can also work for Assessments in all of the English and Needle Laces. At the moment The Lace Guild Assessment is the only qualification in Lace Making available in the Country.
Me and The Lace Guild
About 4 years ago a request was put into The Lace Guild quarterly magazine asking for volunteers for the Executive Committee, and I asked what was involved. I was invited to attend the next committee meeting and that was that. The job I acquired was to help organize the Annual Convention and Annual General Meeting. No problem, I thought, I had been used to organizing various events as a Girl’s Brigade Officer and also with the business I run with my sister.
WRONG – Trying to find a venue that was suitable, near where EVERYBODY lived, cheap enough to encourage as many members as possible to attend and with first class catering facilities was more or less impossible. The phrase ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time’ is burned into the centre of my brain.
However, with a lot of help from the rest of the Committee a venue was chosen and, although it couldn’t possibly cover all requirements, was as close as we were going to get in the circumstances. With suppliers, speakers and tutors booked, the 2013 Convention was held in Kidderminster. We were completely shattered!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on The Executive Committee. Yes it is hard work occasionally, but I have learnt a great deal about the needs of Lace Makers and hope that at the end of my ‘stint’ there will be others who ask ‘So, what is involved then?’