The History of the Guild
The East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers was originally formed in Bognor Regis in 1931, and was initially called the Sussex Junior Guild of Arts. Branches soon extended along the south coast. In 1932 the Bexhill branch became independent, calling itself The East Sussex Guild of Arts & Crafts, and holding annual exhibitions. Following a 10 year interlude over the war years, the Guild reformed in 1949 under the name of the East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers.
Annual Exhibitions resumed, increasing in size so that by 1962 the main hall of the De La Warr Pavilion was needed to house all the exhibitors.
The renovation of the Pavilion in 2003 meant the Guild had to find an alternative venue for its exhibitions. Its summer exhibition is now held in the beautiful setting of Bateman’s, a National Trust property at Burwash. In November, the Guild fills the Great Barn at Michelham Priory for the Popular Christmas Fair.
On occasion the Guild organises additional shows at venues of suitable quality.
The Objectives of the Guild
It is a prime objective of the Guild to encourage and promote standards of excellence in crafts practiced in East Sussex. It provides it members with shows at superior venues to sell their crafts, thus providing to the public an opportunity to obtain those unique, hand crafted, quality items that have become so difficult to find in these days of mass production, where cost is the driver, rather than quality.
The Committee of the Guild sets a Policy on Standards for exhibiting with the Guild, to ensure the continuing high standard of its shows.