22 Dec 2021 |
Posted by Jonathan Radnedge | 0 Comment.
** Crofton Gane was a man of many parts: Quaker, design pioneer, businessman, furniture
salesman, philanthropist and also, in our context, one of the five men whose mission to a
winter-battered Hannover in 1947 led to the creation of the Bristol-Hannover Council and one
of the first and most enduring of city twinnings.
Acknowledgement of Gane’s full-hearted contribution to the life of Bristol has been recognised
with a blue plaque at the College Green site of his furnishings showrooms.
The plaque was unveiled on October 16 by Penny Gane, his grand-daughter, in the presence of
around 30 representatives of civic and cultural organisations who have all come to appreciate
and value his legacy. The Bristol Hannover Council was represented by chair Ann Kennard and
This is the 33rd such blue plaque in the city in a programme overseen by the Bristol Civic
Society and with funding support from the Gane Trust which he created after winding up his
business, P E Gane, in 1954.
The plaque can be viewed at 43 College Green which was the site of the P E Gane furniture
business showrooms before its wartime destruction. He reopened the showroom at 79 Park
Street before the business was wound up in 1954. The building now adorned by the plaque is a
student accommodation centre.
Gane had become chairman of the business on the death of his father in 1933 and was excited
by new design concepts. When the leading Bauhaus designer, Marcel Breuer, came to Britain
as a refugee from Germany, a lifelong friendship began.
Among many commissions for Gane was one of Breuer’s two all-time favourite buildings – the
Gane Pavilion, built in 1936 for the Royal Show in Ashton Park. Breuer’s other favourite was
his design for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
Gane died in 1967.