The late Michael Barrington.

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It is no exaggeration to say that the association would not exist as it does today without his tireless stamina and the dedication he lavished on it for 20 years until he was elected president in 2014. Sadly, he passed away on January 9, 2024.

He will be remembered by his BAFRA colleagues for his gentlemanly but passionate conduct in all of the association’s activities and his unerring dedication to the organisation and its founding principles of promoting high quality furniture restoration.

He brought restorers together, encouraging communication between them and so fostering a mutual support within the community.

Michael was instrumental in the formation of the BAFRA Student Section which at one point numbered some 70 aspiring young conservator/restorers while bringing together the six existing training colleges at the time; most notably with an annual competition for any student from the affiliated colleges.

He visited all of the colleges each year, talking to the students, extolling the principles of BAFRA, its importance to its members and significance for the furniture trade and the general public.

Michael passionately believed in “continuing professional development” for all restorers and was instrumental in establishing regular specialist training courses for restorers wanting to learn new techniques and benefit from the differing experiences of their colleagues.

His enthusiasm and dedication set a great example for the upcoming generation of conservator/restorers and his spirit lives on through their work.

Aside from his brilliant administration work for BAFRA, Michael was a very fine craftsman and made and restored many items ranging from model engineering to horse-drawn vehicles, mechanical musical instruments to fine period furniture and everything wooden or metallic in between.

His previous, highly successful military career and prowess as a horseman no doubt provided him with the self-discipline and determination in all he did to allow him to refine his own skills at the bench. He was an exceptional man in that he possessed the academic, aesthetic, and practical craft skills all in equal high measure.

Michael will be sadly missed by family, friends, and particularly by those whose careers he influenced through his apprenticeship schemes and training courses, but most significantly by the personal interest he took in all those he interacted with.

From Adrian Smith LVO ACRBAFRA president