Prince Charles: We cannot lose ‘treasured skills’

ICONINSIDER — Prince Charles wants to ensure that no “treasured skills” are lost forever.
The 68-year-old royal has lamented the decline in craft skills in the UK after a landmark report warned that dozens of crafts including piano, fan, broom and parchment making are quickly becoming obsolete.
The report also stated that skills such as cricket ball making, saw and spade making, gold beating and sieve making have already disappeared as a result of falling demand and cheaper imports.
Prince Charles has called for a greater “appreciation” of the skilful crafts, as he pushes to make sure no more traditional craftsmanship ends up lost forever.
He said: “Traditional crafts are as much a part of our shared heritage as our wonderful historic landscapes, beautiful buildings, rare breeds of native farm animals and varied museum collections.
“I urgently believe that we must gather more information on the crafts identified so far to ensure that no more treasured skills are lost forever.”
The royal made his comments in the foreword to the Heritage Craft Association’s (HCA) first Red List of Endangered Crafts report, where he also stated that the resurgence of these crafts would help bring “genuine economic and cultural benefits” to the UK population for “generations”.
He added: “I very much hope that the Red List will encourage more interest and further research into this prized aspect of our heritage, expanding our shared appreciation of traditional craftsmanship and, of course, placing these crafts on a sustainable footing so that they can continue to bring genuine economic and cultural benefits to our communities for generations to come.”
Meanwhile, Ian Keys, Chair of the HCA, likened the dwindling craft trade to that of historical houses which are now protected, and said the skills needed “safeguarding”.
He said: “Craft skills today are in the same position that historic buildings were a hundred years ago – but we now recognise the importance of old buildings as part of our heritage, and it’s time for us to join the rest of the world and recognise that these living cultural traditions are just as important and need safeguarding too.”

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