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Kenwood Exhibition, The Lighthouse, Woking

Katherine Higgins interviewing Kenneth Grange, CBE at The Lightbox, Woking

I attended
The Art of Design: Kenwood in the Kitchen at The Lighthouse, Woking twice during its almost two month run (28 April to 24 June) and it was a real pleasure on both occasions.
...................Kenneth Grange turned this................. into this in 1960
..........................(photo credits: The Lighbox, Woking and eyeseenicee).

My first visit, on 15 May 2012, was to be in the audience of In Conversation with Kenneth Grange; interviewed by TV presenter Katherine Higgins. Kenneth told us how he landed a career in industrial design and how he came to be commissioned by my step father, Ken Wood in 1960, to redesign the then clunky Kenwood Chef into something more attractive and stylish. He told told us the story (one that I had heard Ken Wood tell many times) of how Kenneth ran out of time making his proposed design, and "cheated" by mounting half of his model of the Chef on a mirror to make it look like a whole one! Ken Wood loved both the design and Kenneth's half-a-Chef-on-a-mirror trick, and gave him the job "probably because I was cheap and because I said I could do it quickly".t was wonderful to see Kenneth again. The last time we met, I was probably an infant.
A few photos I took of the exhibition

I returned on the last day of the exhibition to have a proper look at all the exhibits, a few of which I and my mother had lent The Lighthouse. It was all so well presented, and it included a TV documentary on the history of the Kenwood company as well as an opportunity to hear an audio recording of Ken Wood himself dictating his life story.

In addition to several different editions of the Kenwood Chef and other Kenwood products, also on display was the actual half-model on a mirror that Kenneth Grange presented to Ken Wood in 1960; various children's toy versions of the Chef; newspaper cuttings; awards; photographs; a miniature Kenwood Chef in gold that could be worn as a brooch or pendant; a Kenwood cigarette lighter; Kenwood adverts; Kenwood recipe books; many important original documents including instruction manuals and even one of Ken Wood's passports.

Ken Wood, Local Hero
The Kenwood Display, Woking Museum

I also had time to have a look around the section of the building that is Woking's museum. I was very pleased to see there that Ken Wood was (and probably still is at time of writing) occupying the Local Hero slot. He would be honoured. There is also a permanant display of Kenwood products there as the company is considered such an important part of Woking's history.

Kenneth Maynard Wood, 1916-97


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