In the summer of 1983, I went along to the Farnborough Community Centre with a crafter friend hoping to join the craft guild. On the way, she explained that there may be trouble at the meeting as the two ladies running it had asked for an increase to the subs from £8 to £10 in September. The members wanted to know why and asked to see the books. By the end of the meeting, they had walked out in a huff. The rest of us moved to the Plough and Horses to consider the next move. A prospective committee was formed and if the thing hadn’t been resolved there would be a ‘takeover’.
On 21 September the guild as we know it now was formed using the existing name of the ‘The Southern Counties Guild of Small Crafts’. It was years and years before the subs would be increased to £10.
The first newsletter produced in January 1984 asked the members (about 24) to design a logo and the entries were judged. My friend Margaret Coley, the one that had brought me that night was the winner. The logo we use today but with the letters SCGSC. This was then adapted, while I was Secretary, for the change of name to Farnborough Craft Guild in 1989.
As we arranged more fairs at different venues including Princes Mead. We managed to get a small group insurance and then in 1991. We arranged a larger one for our 50 members to cover public and product liability.
Other favourite venues over the years were Sandhurst, Rotherwick, Southwood, St Peters in Farnborough, Frimley, Normandy and Heatherside.
Advertising was helped by our banners and round signs in 1998, badges in 2004, bold posters showing craft work as well as information, a website in 2007 and a workshop in Princes Mead to celebrate 25 years. Socially we started regular BBQ’s at Lesley’s and The Beetnik drive was born. After being a member for all those years as a committee member, secretary and chairman from 1994, I managed to relinquish my title after 20 years.
I’m pleased to say the Guild seems in good hands at the moment but can only exist and progress with all the members’ help.