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Letter from Elizabeth Evans, Area Chairman for The Arts Society North East

Celebrating 50 years of NADFAS (now The Arts Society.)

Dear Chairman,

As you know, 2018 will see celebrations marking the Golden Anniversary of NADFAS, which has taken the opportunity to rebrand itself and become known as The Arts Society.


At a number of Area meetings the North West Area decided to mark this by creating a book: “ 50 Treasures of the North West - which you may not know about” . This is to be an attractive, affordable book, probably A5 size, for sale to members and others. It will contain a short description, good photograph and the location of 50 things which they in the North West Area value and want to celebrate. These could have been discovered through Church Recording, Church Trails, Heritage Volunteering or be works created by Young Arts projects. There may be other places, buildings or artefacts that are not necessarily known to Tourist Offices and the like, but that they value and want to share.

They aim to have 2 suggestions from the 22 societies in the North West Area and make the number up to 50 by adding 6 others from the list. They have already had a number of fascinating suggestions and would welcome more.

Working closely with Janet Cummings, the North West Chairman, on the Committee for the Great Exhibition of the North has sown the seed that we should do the same here in the North East. So I do hope you will follow their pattern and mention it to your members at an early opportunity. We will be discussing it in more detail at the Autumn Meeting.

Please would you
• Mention this initiative to your members at the first lecture of the season.
• Ask for a photo (mobile phone one is fine) and 100 words max. of where it is, what it is and why it could be included.
• The cut off date is 30th November 2017.

Obviously we don’t want things that are easily stolen to be included! Please ask for all the suggestions for the North East Area to be sent to The Area committee will select 50 Treasures from those received and we aim to print the books so that they can be on sale at our AGM in March 2018 and onwards during the Golden Anniversary year. This is North West Area’s contribution to the Golden Anniversary. Now the idea is being taken up by the North East Area we will have 100 Treasures of the North (in 2 separate books) which we will be able to show during The Great Exhibition of the North, taking place in Newcastle from 21st June 2018 until 17th September 2018. The Arts Society has planned a series of “pop up” lectures there open to the public to take place on 5 evenings and 2 Saturday mornings during that time. More information on this will be available at the Area meeting on 16th October 2017.


As you know, there is of course no necessity for societies to do anything. Nevertheless, it is pleasing to know that several societies are planning their own celebrations and others may wish to dedicate their June or July 2018 lecture to the Golden Jubilee and the Great Exhibition of the North.

Elizabeth Evans, Area Chairman for The Arts Society North East




Tuesday 6 June 2017
Hull History Centre, Worship Street, Hull

Silver of the North East

Ian Pickford

A contingent of The Arts Society Scarborough members attended this year’s Area Study Day on Tuesday 6th June in Hull, the venue chosen to support Hull's year as the UK City of Culture 2017.

The lecturer was Ian Pickford, the well-known silver expert, Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company, Lecturer at the V & A and The Arts Society and a renowned contributor to the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

The Study Day was initiated by our very own President, Mary Grunwell, and the Area Committee were thrilled to be offered Hull's History Centre lecture room free of charge as a thank you to the North Eastern Societies, whose Heritage Volunteers have done much to support the Hull Centre, Hull History Centre. This impressive modern building stands in Worship Street, Hull and houses many collections and items relating to the history of Hull and its surrounding area.

Ian Pickford's easy conversational style made for a happy wander through the lives and history of the goldsmiths of Hull, highlighting distinctive regional features, and exploring links between the centres in Newcastle and Yorkshire. The evolution of hallmarking in the area was also examined, Hull's main hallmark being three Coronets. Ian had discovered only 121 items of Hull silver in his research, as Hull silver is rare.

The Hull Beadle attended, bringing the sheriff's mace, a decorated porringer and a repousse salver from The Guildhall silver collection all in use today, and regularly on show on the 1st floor of the Guildhall.

After a lunch provided by the University catering department, members laid out their own silver for aesthetic valuation and the varied items aroused great interest. Notable items included an Edwardian repousee nurses buckle style belt made to encircle an 18 inch waist, two exquisite regency cream jugs, an ornate presentational repousee lidded urn, tablespoons in the Coburg and Hanoverian styles, one Stuart period christening spoon, a modern goldsmith's ceremonial bespoke goblet of simple design, the ideal shaped tea pot of 1835 and the daintiest of Edwardian sugar sifters.

Hints on cleaning silver were the bonus item of this most enjoyable day.

Ian Pickford is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths' Company, Freeman of the City of London and a lecturer at the the University of London, University of Surrey, V and A, National Trust, The Art Fund and The Arts Society.

He also is one of the experts on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and an author of books on silver.

Ian Pickford
Silver Cup

(1) Ian Pickford on the Antiques Road Show
(2) Silver Cup - Copyright
Wilberforce Museum, Hull Museums