Marsh Awards for Heritage Crafts

2014 - Wendy Shorter and Brian Boorman

Trainer - Wendy Shorter

Wendy Shorter, pictured right, offers training and learning opportunities in upholstery and soft furnishings. In 2006 she set up her own training centre which has expanded and developed over the years to deliver classes and accredited qualifications to hundreds of students. As Director of Training for the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishings, Wendy has developed a range of qualifications which are offered at her centre alongside a variety of day and evening leisure classes and one and two- day taster classes. She also works with local schools, providing upholstery training to a group of 17 year old students and has personally sponsored a young student to undertake the Upholstery Stage 2 qualification.

Wendy continues to look for opportunities to expand the training available to students from school age to retirement. She has helped others to set up their own training centres and ensures that courses delivered by training partners are at a high standard, by offering mentoring support and monitoring their work. Wendy has shown a real passion for her craft and a commitment to encourage others to learn it. Since the centre was set up, at least a third of qualified students have gone on to work in the upholstery and soft furnishings industry, either for themselves or for other employers in the industry. Through her work, Wendy has helped to ensure the continuation of these creative skills for years to come.

To find out more about Wendy’s training centre visit the website -

Volunteer - Brian Boorman

Brian Boorman is a volunteer at the Faversham Creek Trust, which works to restore Faversham Creek in Kent by developing a training scheme for shipwrights, fostering traditional boatbuilding skills and promoting tourism linked to Faversham’s maritime heritage. The Trust has refurbished the old gasworks Purifier Building to act as a base for their activities. Brian has worked hard in helping to restore the building which had been closed for decades, by fitting windows, doors and staircases, working on the roof and plastering and painting. His efforts have meant that the Trust has been able to deliver its work much sooner than expected, with the maritime skills now being practiced in the building.

Brian has also spent countless hours organising successful fundraising events and has approached businesses and individuals to provide raffle prizes which are often the work of local artists and craftspeople. Brian has also recruited a number of volunteers to the Trust, acting as a mentor to them and making them feel valued and welcome.

Brian worked in the boatyards in Faversham before they closed down as well as on the restoration of the Eye of the Wind ship at Iron Wharf and the reinstatement of the quayside at Standard Quay in the 1970s. He has a continuing interest in maritime skills in Faversham and is a tireless advocate of their vital role.

Pictured above: Top - Wendy Shorter at work with students at the training centre
Below: Brian Boorman (far right) receiving his Award from Nick Carter (centre), MCT representative, and Phil Harding (far left).


Heritage Craft Association
HCA Administrator
132 The Glade
Old Coulsdon