Oxfordshire, UK - On Friday 17th June, Trade day, we took time out from selling to celebrate 'Hats Off' to women working, using, writing about and designing with architectural salvage. It was meant to be tea and cake with a few short impromptu talks earlier in the day but it was delayed due to the many contacts and sales being made that day. Salvo Fair Trade day maintains the reputation of attracting the best contacts and buyers for an architectural salvage fair anywhere in the world. So the short talks of personal experiences and tips for working or designing with salvage were delayed until 5pm. So hat or no hat we finally got together for a group photo in the late afternoon sunshine.
Then with a few a jugs of Pimm's we celebrated the women working in what was traditionally a man's world, architectural salvage and antiques. Now though the impromptu talks and the 'Hats off' SalvoNEWs stories have shown it is a woman's world too.
Lin Chambers, from Elham Antiques gave a fascinating talk of her experiences over the years of selling architectural salvage and antiques. She told of how it all began for her when she unintentionally filled a warehouse with salvage and began selling it, with her then partner Julian. She also mentioned her memory and inspiration of the earliest yard selling 'proper' architectural salvage, Walcot in Bath, which was started by Thornton and partner Rick. Thornton Kay now runs the Salvo online marketplace for architectural salvage and antiques. 'Hats off' was then toasted to Ruby, Thornton's daughter who has run the fair with him for a number of years. Lin talked of being an exhibitor at the first Salvo Fair, held in 1997 in Surrey.
She mentioned the problems of lifting heavy items from her first cast iron bath. The need to adapt to changes in the business of salvage over the years and the current popularity of decorative items.
Lin then brought it right up to date with her granddaughter and how she felt colleges and schools should give children the experience of designing with salvage.
Lin commented she always enjoys coming to the Salvo Fair, 'it is like a gathering of friends.'
Gilli Hobbs, from BRE, also gave an impromptu talk. Gilli with her business partner, Katharine Adams, have worked at BRE for many years with the aim of reducing waste in mainstream construction and of decreasing the carbon footprint in new builds. Gilli talked about her aim of encouraging greater sustainability in building products used in construction. She also talked of commissioning Thornton to do the first demolition audit on a building. Audits aim to assess all items that should be salvaged from a demolition. Then she mentioned the more recent joint research project with BRE and Salvo into a Truly Reclaimed Wood mark.
Gilli talked too of her attempt to make a profit running a salvage business, Reusefully with partner Katharine and finding out it was much harder than they had first realised.
I too have realised, that whatever the different life stories that have brought these women to reclaiming, reusing, and the love they show for architectural salvage and antiques it is completely fired by their passion for what they do.
The link to all the SalvoNEWS 'Hats off to women" stories is below. Enjoy!
Salvo Fair Hats Off to Women
Story Type: Feature