St George’s Day is England’s national day and is celebrated on April 23rd every year. The day remembers St George – England’s patron saint. Handmade gift retailer DarbyMade celebrates English Heritage in supporting the skilled craftspeople of England by bringing you a carefully curated selection of high quality, authentic handmade items from manufacturers across different regions all-round the country. From Sheffield Steel Carving Knife Sets made by Samuel Staniforth in Yorkshire, to Wooden Fountain Pens produced in Sussex, DarbyMade’s mission is to celebrate traditional homegrown Craftsmanship and support the most talented craftspeople in the UK to keep skills live for future generations.
“The skill and dedication of English craftspeople is a unique part of our heritage“
To maintain its success, DarbyMade continually searches for the best craftspeople in the UK. Due to the demise of small manufacturing businesses and the fall in demand for handcrafted products during the 1990’s and 2000’s, many talented people have ceased working. The craftsmen and manufacturers below are just a small fraction of the talent and craftsmanship that DarbyMade supports and celebrates.
J & F.J. Baker; Britain’s only remaining Oak Bark tannery, supplies the leather for DarbyMade’s ‘ultimate’ British belt made by some of the most exclusive leather workers in the world.
Based in Devonshire, J. &F.J. Baker has been a tannery since Roman times using an ancient method of tanning that has been carried out on site for thousands of years. As a member of the British Leather Confederation, these craftsmen have skills and knowledge that have been handed down through the generations, producing the finest leather that is unrivalled; hardwearing, strong and with distinctive colours that emphasise the natural grain.
DarbyMade’s hand turned pen maker in Sussex uses his experience to individually hand turn each piece into an optimally balanced fountain pen housing, before adding the highest quality fittings and a nib. The handmade fountain pens are made from oak exclusive to Darby, planted by Queen Victoria in the 1800’s and handpicked by the gardeners at The Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Hersey & Son Ltd, is a family run silversmiths, established in London in 1971 by founder of the company Michael Hersey. It specialises in producing authentic sterling silver gifts, such as the lucky sixpence sterling silver cufflinks. These classic designs are made from steam cleaned used coinage issued between 1921 and 1967, just before decimalisation in 1971. Today the company is made up of a small expert team of silver spinners, silversmiths, polishers and engravers.
Samuel Staniforth Ltd has been creating knives in Yorkshire since 1864, hand making pen knives, pocket knives, scales, blades, and springs. Staniforth carved his speciality and talent by using only the finest Sheffield Steel, and was quick to gain a reputation for his quality and craftsmanship. This rich heritage enables it to produce high quality knifes, blending delicate handling and balance with the rigorous durability and meeting the exacting demands of professional chefs.
Overall DarbyMade prides itself in raising awareness of the underlying makers, revealing the stories that make each of their handmade products unique, and celebrating the skills of each individual maker throughout the country. This St George’s Day, DarbyMade would like to challenge the rise of fast fashion, by celebrating the authenticity, and heritage behind the making of its products from skilled craftsmen from across England.
DarbyMade founder, Paul Jardine says: “The skill and dedication of English craftspeople is a unique part of our heritage that DarbyMade celebrates year-round. St George’s Day is a great time to support these talented people, so that this heritage can also be enjoyed by our children, and their children.”