On November 15th at 1.0 p.m. a founder member of the Sussex Guild, Sam Fanaroff, was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen’s representative when he was presented with his British Empire Medal. The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex presented Sam Fanaroff with his medal in a ceremony attended by friends, family and several members of the Guild.
Sam Fanaroff was awarded the BEM for service to the crafts, and for the work he has done in founding and nurturing The Guild of Sussex Craftsmen – known as the Sussex Guild today. His own work as a coppersmith was also cited. Since the medal cannot be collected by anyone on behalf of the recipient, and Sam was not fit enough to travel to Hastings for the presentation, the Lord Lieutenant made a special visit for a special man, coming to Sam and Mary Jo’s home in Westham. In thanking those present, Sam recalled that when he started the Guild, someone remarked: ‘If it lasts five years, that will be an achievement’. 50 years on as we all know, the Sussex Guild in in good shape, and members past and present might raise a glass, as those at the ceremony did, in honour of Sam, who had not only the vision, but the ability to galvanise others to join an organisation which continues to benefit craft workers in Sussex and beyond.