Hugh Birkett

Do you have any memories of Hugh Birkett to share?

Peter Hill

I am planning to write a paper about Hugh Birkett who lived in the Lapworth area. He was born in Solihull in 1919. He moved with his parents to live in the Lapworth at some time, possibly the late 1920s or early 1930s, at a house called Grey Gables on Chessetts Wood Road. Here he set up his own furniture making studio in the late 1940s where he worked until well into the 1960s.

What was so remarkable about Hugh Birkett was that in Lapworth, we had a truly remarkable craftsman and designer who produced furniture influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement. His items of furniture, both large and small, were produced as individual commissions and also for the local churches at Baddesley Clinton and Lapworth to satisfy some interesting furnishing needs in an ecclesiastical setting.

I am currently working on indentifying all the furnishings (usually in light oak) made by Hugh Birkett for our two local churches. I also understand that he made a number of pieces such as chairs, tables and cabinets produced as commissions for people both in Lapworth and further afield.

I would be really interested to track down any memories people may have of Hugh Birkett. He was a ‘quiet man’ and as such someone who liked to get on with his designs with a minimum of fuss or ceremony. Anything at all about Hugh Birkett or about where he lived would be of great interest.