1. The work of the Rural Cultural Forum (2006 – 2018)

The RCF Rural Cultural Forum was established in June 2006 at the first Rural Cultural Summit held at Tate Britain.  It main purpose was to act as a rural cultural advocacy and networking agency, which also lobbied for the introduction of rural cultural strategy and related creative rural economy strategic investment initiative. 

The RCF’s work on the creative rural economy came about as the result of three historic events which then had a major impact on rural communities, the future of farming and the rural economy. These were: (i) the Foot and Mouth pandemic, FMD – 2001, the International Banking Crisis – 2008/09, and now Brexit and Britain’s historic decision to exit from the EU 2016/19.   

For more information about the Rural Cultural Forum’s main campaign areas please go to the archive section of the website>

The RCF formally ended it campaign work in 2018 with a recommendation that a new creative rural sector (CRS) lobby or advocacy network should be set up to on carry this work.  We are hoping will be take over by the creation of a Rural Creative Industries Consortium – CRIC, later in 2019, after the Tate Britain conference in June.

2. The impact of Brexit and the Industrial Strategy on the creative rural sector

In anticipation of Brexit the Government also launched an new Industrial Strategy in November 2017. Alongside this the CI creative Industries lobbied for the adoption of a Creative Industries Settlement, which was adopted by Government in March 2018.

3. The Creative Rural Sector responds to the Government’s Industrial Strategy

The New Creative Rural Economy initiative has been developed by CRIC as part of the creative rural sector’s initial response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy – Creative Industries Settlement.

4. Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic – the Culture and Pandemics report (May 2020)

Outlines the creative rural sector’s response to the pandemic and proposes a new urban rural cultural/creative industries sector partnership in support of the government’s pandemic recovery programme.

5. This initial strategy has four main components: 

5.1  The organisation of an international ‘New Creative Rural Economies’ conference at Tate Britain 25/26 June 2019

5.2  Commissioning of a major consultancy study report to formally assess and verify the creative rural sector’s; (i) current estimates that it is generating £2 billion for the national creative economy and (ii) that, with a three year £15 million Rural Cultural Development Fund in place,  it has the capacity to up this contribution to c. £4 billion by 2024.

5.3  Following an agreement, via an open democratic rural cultural mandate, to establish a Creative Rural Industries Consortium or advocacy/networking agency or council.  Which could unify and speak for all the active creative rural sectors in the UK (or for England initially).

5.4  The said CRIC would then open a formal dialogue with CIC (Creative Industries Council) to seek recognition and admission to the Council for the creative rural sector. At the same time as discussions with DCMS, Arts Council, DEFRA, BEIS, etc. about the possibility of establishment of a three year, £15 million Rural Cultural Development Fund or an equivalent creative rural sector investment strategy.

The Consortium

If you would like to know more about the consortium, please follow this link.

Vintage Shopping Sprees

Vintage shopping is more than just a means to buy; it's an adventure into the past, a treasure hunt for those who revel in nostalgia and appreciate the stories that old items carry. For many, the allure of vintage and antique shopping lies in discovering items that are not only unique but also have their own histories. This makes vintage shopping sprees an excellent activity for dates, providing a casual, fun-filled day of exploration and shared discoveries. This article explores the joys of hunting for hidden gems in vintage shops, the unique experience of going antiquing with an escort, and offers a guide to some of the best places where you can embark on your vintage shopping spree.

Discovering Treasures Together

Vintage and antique shopping as a dating activity offers a unique way to learn about each other's tastes and personalities. Each object in a vintage shop has a story, and each choice a person makes can reveal something about what they value or find beautiful. As couples wander through aisles of old furniture, classic vinyl records, vintage clothing, and retro decor, they engage not just with the items, but with each other, discussing their pasts, their aesthetics, and even their dreams for the future.

The act of exploring together in a relaxed environment can lead to organic, flowing conversation and unexpected discoveries. The joy of finding something rare or unusual, or unearthing a forgotten piece of history, can turn a simple shopping trip into an exciting adventure. This shared experience can strengthen bonds, create lasting memories, and even become a tradition for many dates to come.

The Escort’s Guide to Antiquing

Incorporating an escort into a vintage shopping spree might not be the first idea that comes to mind, but it can transform the experience into an engaging and lively adventure. Escorts often bring a unique perspective and a keen eye for style, which can greatly enhance the shopping experience. They can offer insights into the era, style, and history of various items, making the hunt more informative and enriching.

Moreover, an outing with an escort to antique stores can provide not just companionship, but also a shared sense of discovery. This can be particularly enjoyable for those who might otherwise feel overwhelmed by the vast array of choices or the nuances of vintage quality and valuation. An escort can help navigate these challenges, making the experience more enjoyable and less daunting.

Additionally, having an escort as a companion can add a level of sophistication to the outing. They can offer advice on selecting pieces that suit one’s style or even help in haggling prices, turning the shopping spree into a smooth and stylish endeavor.

Best Vintage Shops

For those ready to embark on a vintage shopping spree, knowing where to go is key. Here’s a guide to some of the best vintage and antique shops known for their quality selections and delightful finds:

Silver Lining Vintage - New York, USA: Located in the heart of New York, Silver Lining Vintage offers an eclectic mix of vintage clothing, accessories, and home decor. Known for its carefully curated collection, it’s a perfect spot for fashion enthusiasts and vintage lovers alike.

Lost & Found Antiques - London, UK: This shop features a vast array of antiques from various periods. Whether you’re looking for Victorian jewelry, mid-century modern furniture, or rare books, Lost & Found Antiques provides a broad selection that caters to serious collectors and casual shoppers.

Paris Flea Market - Paris, France: No vintage shopping guide would be complete without mentioning the famous Paris Flea Market. Sprawling and diverse, it offers everything from high-end antique furniture to vintage postcards and clothing. It’s an ideal place for a full day’s adventure.

RetroHub - Tokyo, Japan: Known for its vibrant collection of retro pop culture items, RetroHub in Tokyo is a haven for those who love the quirky and unusual. From vintage manga to classic Japanese cinema posters, it’s a must-visit for pop culture fans.

Vintage shopping sprees offer a unique blend of history, art, and personal connection, making them an ideal date for those looking to do something different. Whether you're exploring with a romantic partner, friends, or an escort, the world of vintage and antique shopping is sure to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience.