THE celebrity speaker at the April meeting was Paul Atterbury. His talk on “William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement” was illustrated throughout, the first being a photograph of leading Pre-Raphaelites.

They greatly influenced his designs and thinking, as did his early membership of the Socialist League.

Morris had a business in Oxford Street selling furniture, furnishings and textiles. He was, therefore, able to innovate, matching patterns and designs that co-ordinated to fit out a whole room.

In 1859, Webb designed the Red House for him. Now owned by the National Trust, it is described as the Arts and Craft house.

Initially Morris designs were for flat surfaces. By the 1870s, his team extendeds their scope to the whole product, such as ceramics.

William Morris died in 1896, by which time the popularity of his designs had become well established.