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Moorcroft at Thaxted Guildhall, Essex

Posted on - 15th March 2019
Countryfile Live Oxfordshire

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th march

Thaxted Guildhall, 12 Town Street, Thaxted, Essex, CM6 2RE



Thaxted is an historic, medieval market town which thoroughly enjoys waking up from its winter slumbers to the sound of Moorcroft connoisseurs enjoying themselves on a brisk, early Spring morning. One of these waiting to visit the 600-year-old Guildhall will be a Thaxted resident who is the great, great, great grandson of poet, William Wordsworth. He had become interested in our Spring Festival’s pre-summer flowers which remind him so much of his illustrious ancestor. Next year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Lakeland poet, William Wordsworth, and his great, great, great grandson (a trustee of the Wordsworth Trust) has indicated informally, that he would be delighted to meet up with us all a year from now for the 250th anniversary celebrations, but back to the present.

Last year, Moorcroft hosted a Guildhall exhibition featuring pieces relevant to or dating from World War I. Supported by the Royal British Legion, the exhibition was a huge success, running for a full three days with record attendance figures despite the fact that the Beast from the East dropped four inches of snow across a frozen Thaxted.

This year’s Thaxted Guildhall exhibition is to be called Moorcroft: Wildlife in Art. To ensure that the exhibition will be one to remember, Collections have been raided and some of the exhibits most of us can only dream about. They are positively awesome, many rare and all of them on public display for the very first time.

It was on the 12th September 1986, that Hugh and Maureen Edwards first walked through the blue doors of the Moorcroft factory in Sandbach Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. Until that time, there had never been any Moorcroft designs featuring animals, birds, insects, or buildings and even tractors were a fantasy. It had been an era when broad florals and Florianware were the daily fodder for design-hungry Moorcroft collectors. As Walter Moorcroft once ironically commented ‘Our butterflies looked as if they had been cast in concrete, and neither my father nor myself knew how to draw animals or birds’.

It was hard to decide what to include and what not to include in the 2019 Thaxted Exhibition but in the end, we decided on: -

* Butterflies in the contemporary Moorcroft idiom

* Insects and creepy crawlies

* Birds

* Animals and reptiles

* And to provide a link with the past, Fish.

What will be on show are the best of the best. Every piece has been scrutinized meticulously and there will be literally thousands of Club Members who will have examples of their own at home. That is what collecting is all about – not numbers but sheer quality. As treats go, it would be difficult to improve on the 2019 Exhibition, Moorcroft: Wildlife in Art. We know that people will travel from Scotland, the West Country, and Southern England with an army from London and the Home Counties and for that reason alone, Thaxted offers much more than our Exhibition. A warm welcome from the town with its main streets full of listed buildings, the Guildhall itself already included in an international schedule of the top 50 outstanding small buildings in Europe and the town’s ancient Church so often Home to Moorcroft events each year. There is good, but not expensive accommodation in the Farmhouse Inn, Monk Street; the Swan Hotel opposite the Church and only a hundred or so yards from the Guildhall and a fine list of Bed and Breakfast establishments, all highly recommended.

Both The Swan and the Farmhouse Inn serve excellent food whilst Parishes Restaurant opposite the Guildhall is already a favourite destination for Club Members. The family who run India Village serves curries most of us can only dream about whilst The White Hart in Wimbish used to host World War II Spitfire pilots from nearby Debden Airfield and has a catering reputation among the very best in the area. There is more, much more, so why not come along and treat yourselves to something very special indeed. Rumour has it that Moorcroft’s designers are working on some special pieces to launch at the Guildhall, including the Thaxted windmill and even the Follymill Bridge just outside the town, where wild otters have recently been seen. To top it all off, we shall also be launching the first in a new series of daffodil designs. This year’s collection comes from designer, Vicky Lovatt who follows in the footsteps of the other members of the Moorcroft Design Studio who have gone before her. This year’s design will be a limited edition and priority will be given to those members attending the Thaxted Guildhall event.

The Exhibition times are:-

Friday 15th March: 10am to 4.30pm

Saturday 16th March: 10am to 5pm

Sunday 17th March: 11am to 3.30pm

Admission to the Guildhall is totally free, but you should all note that a 600-year-old building was not built with wheelchair access and the stairs are a modest challenge in their own right.

All are welcome, so why not bring the family and make a day of it? Chairman, Hugh Edwards and his wife, Maureen, will be there to greet you all and host the Exhibition generally over all three days.



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