at The Folk House, 30th October 2019
featuring Oliver Kent, Cleo Witt and Max Gane, great-grandson of Crofton.
Many members of the Bristol Hannover Council will recognise Crofton Gane as one of the five original pioneers from different spheres of life who, early in 1947 brought about the first twinning between a German and English city post the Second World War by embarking on the Goodwill Mission to promote the special friendship we still enjoy today between Hannover and Bristol. Crofton Gane owned the furniture company, Gane’s of Bristol.
An Evening with Crofton Gane provided insights into his Quaker background and an understanding of how this philosophy underpinned the choices he made, ensuring that an educational theme ran through the retail and manufacture process.
Oliver Kent explained how Crofton furthered his father’s business, encouraging him to be more adventurous and was excited by the then new design concepts. After the collapse of Bauhaus that came with the rise of Nazism in Germany, Marcel Breuer fled to the UK and was engaged by Crofton Gane. Breuer claimed that the Ashton Court Pavilion was one of the two most important commissions, as Crofton had given him an early opportunity to freely explore ways and approaches to materials and design.
Cleo Witt expanded on the moral theme that threaded though Crofton’s life; in 1936 he introduced a five day week to his workplace, in 1937 he appointed a medical adviser for his workers and in 1954 he established a trust to recognise the support of the community and his spirit lives on as people working in the arts and social services continue to benefit today.