Marsh Heritage Crafts ‘Made in Britain’ Award

This Award recognises individual craftspeople and small manufacturers who are making great quality British products, using locally sourced materials and traditional British crafts.

The winner could be an individual heritage craftsperson, a small company or a specialist manufacturer and there must be significant hand-skilled work involved in the making of the craft. By recognising such people, the Award celebrates all that is best about our living heritage as shown in craft.

Nominations for the award can come from someone associated with the business (e.g. director, manager or employee), supplier, or customer.

Nominations can be made via the Heritage Crafts  Association website. Entries are judged by a panel of experts in heritage crafts and representatives of the MCT.

Two Rivers Paper Company 2020

he Two Rivers Paper Company produce handmade watercolour paper and board for use by artists and designers. These are sold as loose sheets, boxed or hand bound into journals and sketch books.  Two Rivers Paper was established in 1987 and is now the only manufacturer of traditional handmade artists’ quality rag paper in the UK, with Jim the business owner having over 24 years’ experience in papermaking. They use recycled rag sourced from a Somerset fashion manufacturer as off-cuts. The papers and valued added products are all made in house at the owner’s ancient watermill. Paper sales of Two Rivers paper have grown by 50% for a third successive year. 30% of their output is exported worldwide including to the US, Canada, Uruguay and Singapore.  

Jim is approaching retirement and plans to move the business to a new build Arts & Visitors centre nearby in the Spring of 2021, and it hoped that his employees will take over at this point. 

Watch the Awards Presentation here:

Previous Winners

Aldershaw Handmade Tiles Ltd.

Anthony Kindell set up Aldershaw Handmade Tiles in 1999 after an extensive career in the Brick and Tile industry as a Mechanical Engineer. The business now sees approximately 500 tonnes of 150-million-year-old Wadhurst clay dug on site and fashioned into roof, floor, wall, encaustic and mathematical tiles. Aldershaw employs traditional hand making methods and wooden moulds to recreate copies to meet conservation requirements and they are one of only a few companies making sanded, rubber or glazed mathematical tiles.

Anthony’s passion has encouraged this small factory, supported by local labour, to create glorious tiles for some high-profile buildings including English Heritage and National Trust properties. Aldershaw have worked hard to safeguard the craft of clay tile-making and it is because of the rustic nature of the manufacturing process that the tiles are cladding many prestigious buildings, prolonging and protecting their heritage.

Alison Hastie

Green Shoes was started in 1981 as a collective and collaborative workspace of young women passionate about handmaking strong and beautiful shoes that would last for years. they make everything in their Devon workshop using locally sourced materials and each pair of shoes is made specific to the customer’s size for maximum comfort and sustainability. They also run a resole and repair service which is economical and eco-friendly and prolongs the life of the shoes, making them even more ‘green’. Alison is currently training two apprentices and is working towards being able to offer employment to two more full-time shoemakers so that the business can expand and continue to take on orders from repeat customers. She is continuing to invest in social media and marketing to connect to a broader audience and build up their local market.

Carreducker London Limited

Carreducker was founded in 2004, making bespoke shoes and boots exclusively for private customers. They source materials from British tanneries and suppliers in Northampton, Devon, Walsall, Wales, Bristol and London. Over the years, the business has grown to include Carreducker Bespoke, Carreducker London, the Carreducker School (where students from around the world are trained) and the Carreducker Tool Shed (where tools and materials are sold to customers worldwide). They are trained in traditional ‘West End’ hand sewn shoe making, but have a distinct design-lead approach and have been included in the new ‘Designer Maker User’ permanent exhibition at the Design Museum in Kensington.

Carreducker’s vision is to reignite the British shoe industry by working with specialist, artisanal manufacturers that specialise in specific construction methods to produce high-quality, ready-to-wear shoes, made by hand with technical machinery. They hope to grow the business into a leading, international men’s footwear brand and for the Carreducker School to become THE shoemaking training school.

Skelton Saws

Skelton Saws is run by a husband and wife team and they produce traditionally handmade handsaws, in designs inspired by the great British Saw Makers of the 18th Century. Lengthy historical research had to be undertaken since there hasn’t been a traditional saw maker in Britain for well over 100 years. Each saw takes between 20 and 30 hours to produce and are bespoke to the customer’s requirements. They source as much of their raw material as possible from within the UK, and a lot of it comes from very locally to them in Yorkshire. Skelton Saws also offer a ‘saw doctoring service’ and people can send their vintage saws to them to be re-conditioned and sharpened.

They currently have a broad spectrum of customers and hope to capitalise more on the international markets in the future. Shane has also begun to deliver some one day courses on saw sharpening in order to pass on somewhat lost skills.

Equus Leather

Equus Leather makes luxury leather goods, produced entirely by hand and using traditional tools and techniques. As a young man, founder Charles Trevor worked along-side a Master Saddler and ran a small saddlery business. The work of the business is rooted in these traditions and grew out of an interest in producing quality leather goods.

Equus Leather produces three core product ranges. Belts are made using English bridle and harness leathers sourced from J&E Sedgwick of Walsall and J&FJ Baker of Colyton, Devon. Buckles are sourced from Stanley Bros. of Walsall or made in workshops in Birmingham. Canine products such as collars and leads are made using leather from J&E Sedgwick and fittings from Abbey England in Knutsford. Accessories such as watch straps are also predominantly made in the same way.

Since inception in 2008, the business has gone from strength to strength. Products have been exhibited at local craft fairs and through a website, which quickly became the primary sales channel. Equus Leather has sold products to around 60 countries around the world and has accessed a global market whilst promoting skills and hand tools that a Victorian saddler would be instantly at home with.

Yvette Jelfs

Yvette Jelfs designs and produces hand-made couture hats, using traditional skills, for a variety of individual couture clients as well as British companies, such as Jaeger, and design houses and boutiques. Her hats and headpieces have been worn worldwide and have an international following.

Yvette’s hats are hand blocked, whereby the chosen fabric is moulded by steam onto wooden or metal blocks and pinned into shape, a process which takes considerable time. Materials are sourced from the UK, with Yorkshire and Scotland being the main suppliers for fabrics. All cut and sewn hats are made from locally sourced tweed and other Yorkshire fabrics.

The collections are produced at the Scottish Design Factory of Noble Headwear Ltd in Hawick, Scotland. Yvette grew this business out of an old one and in doing so has not only worked to keep a traditional craft alive but has also reintroduced skills into the textile manufacturing area. The business has given work to people who had previously lost their jobs in the cashmere industry.

Yvette has passed her passion for the craft of millinery on to others, and over the past ten years has held courses and has taken on students from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust as well as Fashion Colleges from all over the UK.