It’s time we emerged from the dark ages

Further to your news story, “UK manufacturers under attack” (DW 3 March), I agree totally with the sentiments that were expressed.

As a member of the British European Design Group, we have a continual struggle to encourage manufacturers of any “larger than one-off size” to take our group’s work even as a batch lot.

We are encouraged by Michael Heseltine to take our work abroad, where we achieve a more than favourable response. But what is the point if British furniture manufacturing doesn’t support us by giving us the manufacturing base to operate from, and if those manufacturers are not encouraged by the Government to invest in quality design?

On a recent visit to the Furniture Show in Birmingham, I found wall-to-wall reproduction, evidence that a manufacturing base is there. The problem is that it’s very narrow-minded and almost literally living in the dark ages.

I could go on till the cows – or at least the Chippendale or Windsor – come home. But seriously, it is down to investment in, education about, and support of this country’s designers. And the retailers don’t help by screwing the designers. Apologies, I get a bit carried away sometimes.

Tony Smith, Independent Designer, Member of the British European Design Group, Surbiton, Surrey

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