top of page


Best Wall Art in show, Spring & Autumn exhibition – this applies to any form of painting in acrylic, oil, watercolour, pencil or pastel. The winner receives a beautiful trophy to keep forever.

Best Craft in show, Spring & Autumn exhibition can include ceramics, weaving, mosaic, linocuts, felting, needlecrafts, silver craft, printing, woodwork, knitting, decoupage and papercraft etc.  Again, the winner will receive a beautiful trophy to keep forever.

People choice award, Spring exhibition - The Mollie Staley Award is voted by the visitors for the duration of the exhibition. The votes are counted and the overall winner announced and presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June. This award is a glass sculpture of a paint pallet mounted on a wooden plinth. The winner can temporarily keep this until the next Spring exhibition.

Henley Art & Crafts Guild Awards

The Mollie Staley Award

Mollie Staley was born in London to Irish parents from Howth near Dublin. Having completed her higher school education during the war, her mother sent her to secretarial college, however, Mollie quietly enrolled part-time into the Chelsea Art School as well! She became a radar operator in the WRAF based on the coast in north Scotland and Cornwall, meeting her future husband while both were serving, in the RAF, they married in 1951. Following the war, she worked as a lab assistant in the Haematology and Biochemistry Dept. at St George’s Hospital, London.

Mollie Staley Award
Mollie Staley

In the late 60s early 70s, when her children were teenagers, she had more time and freedom to develop her creative side. She joined a weekly all-day adult painting class at Reading Technical College (later Reading College of Art).

Mollie and her husband were heavily involved with the Henley Art & Crafts Guild (HACG) in the 1970s when the Guild used the Boat House (now the River and Rowing Museum) as an exhibition space. They were subsequently involved in the purchase of the Old Fire Station Gallery, Henley, which is still used today for HACG exhibitions. Mollie was a HACG committee member for many years and held the posts of Exhibition Secretary and Guild Secretary while her husband served as Treasurer and Chairman for a number of years.

Sadly, Mollie had her first stroke at the age of 64 in 1988, which curtailed most of her artistic endeavours, but she did still experiment with gouache paint despite very poor eyesight but not to a standard she was happy with. She relearnt to speak post-stroke, her dry wit, excellent sense of humour and appreciation of colour remained until her death in 2002.

The Mollie Staley Award was introduced in 2012 in her memory and is presented annually to the artist who had produced the best in show piece at the Spring Exhibition, voted by the visiting public.

bottom of page