Sixer wins Royal approval for his role in a ‘vital’ industry.
When the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) approached Prince Charles for his support in setting up an organisation to support the hundreds of thousands of individuals around Britain who work in and support the craft industry, they were overcome by his passionate response. Not only did he enthusiastically offer his support and become their active President, but he personally added the word “vital” to this endorsement of the Craft Awards, one of which has been deservedly won by Faversham Creek Trust’s Brian “Sixer” Boorman:
“As President of the Heritage Crafts Association, I am delighted to endorse this new awards scheme which supports and rewards excellence in the heritage craft sector.
Crafts are such a vital part of our British heritage and I have always been passionately concerned to promote the best aspects of our country’s traditions ― and, equally importantly, to enable these highly specialised skills to be transferred from one generation to the next.
These new awards for heritage craft celebrate excellence across the sector in a variety of ways. They reward those who give so much by volunteering to support the many different crafts, those who pass on their skills, those who wish to improve their craft skills and those who continue to produce great British craft.”
The awards are made by the HCA in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust, a grant making body committed to grassroots recognition.
Sixer was nominated as the ‘main man’ in the Creek Trust’s team of volunteers in recognition not only of his leading role in the restoration of the Purifier building, working for well over 2000 hours voluntarily doing both skilled and manual work, but also for his countless hours helping organise very popular fund raising events, most notably the annual barn dance.
Sixer says: “I really believe in the Creek. It’s the heart of the town in every way. It’s not dead and it’s not obsolete. It was a real eye opener at the Carpenters Hall, to see all of the young people getting awards for their enthusiasm for real skills, real crafts. We’ve got such a lot to offer young people in Faversham and I just wish that the people who are so dead set against giving the young people of this town a proper chance of real local skilled employment could see what could be done. You can only do so much with volunteers, but there is such a brilliant team at the Purifier, they’ve worked miracles and I am really proud to have had the chance to work with them all. Although I was the one nominated, it was really an award for all of them.”
As Chris Wright, Chairman of the Trust says: “It is the training in traditional maritime skills in both wood and metal gained by Sixer as an apprentice of the Brents Shipyard, which have made him such an incredible asset to the building restoration work. That and his tireless enthusiasm!”.
Sixer has donated his £500 prize money to the continuing work in the Purifier.
This is not the first time Faversham has been nationally recognised in the Craft Industry. Alan Staley, Boatbuilder, shook hands and had a ten minute conversation with Prince Charles when he personally awarded Alan with the Maker of the Year award on the same occasion last year.
Faversham is known in high places for its expertise and enthusiasm in traditional crafts and associated industries.
Sixer was also runner up to John Burden, for the Swale Volunteer Awards, which was a good choice as John has been dedicating his time to the Faversham Sea Cadets, also Creek based, for over half a century.