The Rycotewood Furniture Centre at City of Oxford College, part of Activate Learning, is celebrating its 80th birthday with an exhibition in its original home town of Thame. The exhibition at Thame Museum from April to July charts the vision of Cecil Michaelis to form craft education as a furniture training school in Thame that developed through the decades into training for furniture makers and engineers.
Chris Hyde, Director of Design for Creative Arts at Activate Learning, is giving a talk at the Museum on the High Street in Thame on Thursday 19 April at 7.30pm. Chris is a trained Rycotewood Furniture craftsman and antique restorer. His interest in the furniture and furnishings industry came from his upbringing in a family retail furnishing company G.B. Hyde and Son, which traded for 127 years in Cambridgeshire.
Chris Hyde said: “Rycotewood today is as much as ever a community with a purpose. Its reputation is our protection and responsibility. We owe it to the past and the future. 80 years ago Rycotewood set out to give students their rightful place in the industry and in society. That was the original purpose of our founder and our students have helped to achieve it.”
In 2004 Rycotewood College joined with colleges in Oxford and Banbury to form what is now Activate Learning. The Rycotewood Furniture Centre moved to its current site at the City of Oxford College city centre campus where it continues to deliver furniture design and making programmes from Level 1 and learning for leisure courses all the way up to full-time degree programmes.
Rycotewood back in Thame, is on at the Thame Museum until 26 July. The exhibition is free and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm and Sundays 12-4 pm.
Thame Museum is operated by Thame MuseumTrust and is housed in the former Magistrates Court, now owned by Thame Town Council. www.thamemuseum.org/index.html