The Art Workers' Guild The Art Workers' Guild

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The Art Workers' Guild

6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT, United Kingdom | 020 7713 0966 | Website
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The most beautiful building - downstairs is step free - well worth visiting

4

Visit date:

This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid

Overview

The Art Workers' Guild is a body of highly skilled artists, craftspeople and architects. It's based in a historic townhouse in one of the beautiful Bloomsbury squares. It is open to the public for special events. I attended a Bloomsbury Jamboree, a day focusing on art and history, with ticketed talks, book signings and exhibitors. The building is beautifully decorated and well worth visiting to see the venue alone. The Art Workers' Guild have made their historic townhouse step free and accessible on the ground floor. The upper floor accessible only by stairs and is going to be a challenge to most people with mobility impairments.

Transport & Parking

5

The nearest tube stations are Russell Square, Euston or Holborn, none of which are step free. The nearest step free tube station is King's Cross and from there you can get at 91 bus which, along with several other buses stop nearby.

Access

4

There are a couple of shallow steps at the entrance. There is a portable ramp available if you require step free. On both sides of the steps there are iron railings which I used as handrails to help me with the steps. The Master’s Room is on the left as you enter the ground floor. There are no additional steps. When I visited I was attending a talk so the room was laid out with free standing rows of chairs. The chairs are wooden with high backs and arms. Continuing along the ground floor there are a couple of steps down, which again the portable ramp could be used to make it step free, and then you come to the accessible toilet and a door marked "Ramp to Hall". I did not use the doorway marked "Ramp to Hall" so I'm unable to comment about this route. I continued along the corridor and descended three shallow stairs, with hand rails on both sides into The Hall. The Hall is the largest room they have and when I visited it was set out with stalls selling books, pictures and gifts. The tables were laid out so that there was enough room to manoeuvre round the room quite easily although it was busy. There was a small room with chairs accessible by a couple of steps next to the Hall and I went there to have a sit down and a rest. The Gradidge Room is on the first floor and is only accessible by stairs, see photo. One of the talks I attended was in this room, I had my crutch plus I am still recovering from a recent hysterectomy and I found the stairs a challenge. The stairs were not particularly steep and there is a landing midway but for me the problem was the lack of a continuous hand rail. Ascending, there is a rail on the right hand side but this is attached to the wall so I was only able to rest my hand on top of it rather than firmly grip it to support me up the stairs. On the left hand side there is a banister with a partial hand rail. The hand rail stopped at the point where the upper and lower banisters met, which meant that I then had to grab hold of one of the balustrades to support me. I am a bit wussy when it comes to stairs, but personally I found it easier to go up them than down. The staircase is carpeted and on descending it made me feel a little unsteady on my feet. When I visited the Gradidge Room was also laid out with free standing rows of chairs.

Toilets

5

On the ground floor there was an accessible toilet. Please note this was the only toilet I noticed when I visited the building. The toilet was spacious, clean and tidy. There were grab rails and an emergency cord, which when I arrived was tied to one of the grab rails. I undid the emergency cord and attached a Euan's Guide red cord card to it. If you use the toilet look at the mirror which has a William Morris quote on it, which is very appropriate for the Art Workers' Guild. It says "If you can't learn to love real art at least learn to hate sham art".

Staff

4

The Art Workers' Guild rent out their space to individuals and groups so I'm not sure if the staff were from the Art Writers' Guild or not. I had minimal interaction with the staff. There was someone on the door taking names for each of the talks. When I went upstairs I mentioned to the member of staff that the stairs were not very accessible. I can't quite remember his response but it showed no empathy or disability awareness and it would have been nice/ thoughtful if he said at that point let me know if you need any assistance when you go down stairs. He made me feel that I was the problem rather than the layout of the building.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

Please note that the Art Workers' Guild host their own events and also rent out their space to other groups. Ideally every event held there should state the room location and any access issues. However, if you are planning to attend an event I would suggest that you have any mobility impairment to contact the event organisers to confirm which room the event will be held. If it's on the ground floor it is very welcoming and accessible.

Photos

Entrance with shallow steps and railings both side, which could be used as hand rails Portable ramp inside doorway Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild The Hall laid out with lots of stalls Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild Picture of The Art Workers' Guild

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