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Len Page title

Together with Cliff Penny, whom we featured in our January update, Len Page was another
of those six individuals who were responsible for starting the Marquetry Society.

An article featuring Len was published in the Marquetarian in the early 1960's.
We have resurrected that short article and are bringing it to you with this,
our February update. We hope you enjoy it.

Len Pages photo
Len Page writes one of his infamous "Letters to the Editor"

is a name well known to Marquetarians throughout the country, particularly to the older members of the Society and those associated with the London Group. His choice for inclusion in this feature is easily understood, and it provides a small recognition for the several years of useful service he has given to the Society and to the art of Marquetry.

Len was born in Newhaven, Sussex, in the year 1913. During his youth he was employed by the Docks and Marine Department at Newhaven Harbour. He came to London in 1935 and has been employed since that date as a Transport Supervisor with the London Wholesale Dairies Ltd. at Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush. He is married and has one son. Apart from his business his other interests are woodworking and decorating.

He has been fond of working with wood all his life, and at the comparative early age of 18 made several items of furniture, which included a dressing table and a dressing chest. It was about this age that he became interested and made his first attempt at Marquetry. Finding favour with it, he was able to practice with limitations off and on, over the years.

Real enthusiasm for the art came to him in May, 1952,when his interest was enlivened by a letter he read, written by Jack Cox, and appearing in Popular Handicrafts. This letter requested anyone interested in marquetry to write to the author, as he wished to form a Society. Len wrote in reply, seeking more details, and back came a letter, enclosing an application form for membership and a request to forward 10/- (50p in today’s currency), this being the sum proposed as the annual subscription. By compliance with this request Len was enrolled, thus making him one of the very first to join the Society.

In July, 1952,he received a notice from Jack Cox informing him of a meeting for members, and it was arranged that they should gather on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral. As all members were strangers to each other they wore blue ribbon in the lapels of their coats for easy recognition. After a long wait, only Len and five others turned up. They walked to Ludgate Hill and found an open air café on a bomb site, and here around a table and cups of tea the first Annual General Meeting of the Marquetry Society took place.

Since that first meeting, Len Page has attended every A.G.M. which has been called, surely a record to be proud of. In addition he has attended most meetings of the Executive Committee, of which he is a member.

Len has not aspired to “National” heights, but he has won our appreciation for the excellent work he has carried out on behalf of the Society. We wish him well for the future.

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
by Len Page

As well as Len Page (originally from Greenford), there were five other marquetry minded people who formed the nucleus of the fledgling Marquetry Society. Those other five were; Cliff Penny (from Chingford, London), Noel Malyn (also from London, and sometimes referred to as Norman Malyn), Maurice Wright (from Nottingham), Douglas Walters (from Guildford) and Jack Cox (from Dukinfield, Cheshire). Jack Cox was also the first editor of the Marquetarian.

In appreciation for his unfailing hard work on behalf of the Marquetry Society and all marquetarians in general, Len achieved that most rarified of prestigious acknowledgements, and was summarily awarded the enviable position of “Fellow of the Marquetry Society” in 1986.

Sadly, we have to report that Len Page passed peacefully away in August 1991 aged 78.

Cliff Penny

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