Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 9 June 2018

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

Welcome back good shoe folk and what a week this has been...the aprons have been thrown off, glad rags donned and we've been out and about celebrating longevity, tenacity and new generations.

Where and when? Well James and I were very proud to attend the annual Royal Warrant Holders Association luncheon this week where we met and saw the extraordinary work of this year's new Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust scholars including of course, Maud who is currently training with us.

I was a QEST Scholar in 1997. (Yes, I know I can't believe it was that long ago either!!!). The scholarship funded my shoe making apprenticeship and changed my life; and James and I have been proud to fly the flag for QEST, our craft and for training people in our craft from across the world ever since.

We've been proud to train QEST apprentice Alistair Raphael; and more recently scholars Frankey Pinnock and Maud van den Broecke.

A little background to QEST

QEST Chairman Nick Crean and Mark Henderson applauding the new scholars
QEST was established to help support craftspeople of all ages and from all backgrounds, at a critical point in their careers, to sustain traditional British craftsmanship. It is the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders and was established in 1990 to celebrate The Queen Mother's 90th birthday. Since it was founded it has awarded over £3.5 million to 442 craftspeople aged between 17 and 58 across 130 craft disciplines.

In May 2017 HRH The Prince of Wales became the charity's Patron and the Earl of Snowdon, Vice Patron. 

Maud receiving her scholarship

Maud chatting with Nick Crean and Mark Henderson 

A rightly proud Maud with her shoes in progress, past projects and her certificate

James and I were also honoured at the luncheon. I received the QEST Award for Excellence established by Thomas Fattorini ... a life-time achievement award for still being a practising craftsman and for our training programme.

With Mark and Nick at the celebrations

Receiving the QEST Award for Excellence from Tristram Hunt

One of my favourite pairs of shoes - French navy croc

Chatting with guests
The QEST Award for Excellence medal
So all in all a very proud week.

Cockpit Arts Open Studios

Now we're all set for a busy weekend with Open Studios, which got off to a great start last night.

The five styles that you can make on our new short shoe making courses;
and of course the beautiful hand stitched leather goods that you can make with us too!

From workshop to shoe shop and screening room