My one and only success with Morning Glory !
All the chairs in my house
see previous page : A Medley of Chairs : photo album
the old kitchen chair that came from Aunt G in Edinburgh in 1954
2. the rocking chair that came from my childhood home
3. the kitchen chair we got in Norfolk
4. The Ercol chair we got in Norfolk
"spinal chair" I bought in North View
6. the red chatty chair in my study
7. the recently acquired posh black bar chair I use at the computer
Until I bought my typing chair, every chair in the house
was inherited from family or came with a story attached.
1. The old kitchen chair, for instance, that came from Edinburgh with all the rest of the furniture from Aunt Georgie's flat, was almost certainly pretty old by the time
it reached me ~ a hundred years or so. It was a plain kitchen chair, sturdy, stained brown. In Norfolk, in the little school house at Eccles, I had a fit of refreshing old furniture ~ this chair included ~ really like the soft green
which has lasted now for fifty years !
2. I can't remember when the rocking chair came to me ~ possibly in our Eccles School House days ~ one of my siblings must have brought it from Bristol by car ~ I love it because it reminds me of those
far off days ~ I did get it recovered soon after we moved to North View, Will and Kate and I, which is thirty years ago and more so it has lasted well. It lives under the sitting room window and is my downstairs "reading station" with good light from
the window by day and my beautiful green reading lamp after dark. My auburn haired ghost appeared to be sitting in the rocking chair, but I guess there will always have been a chair there between the window and the fire-place ~ he'd have
been sitting in HIS rocking chair, perhaps, waiting for his mum or his missis to call him through to the kitchen for supper.
3. This chair was part of the haul I got from a Norwich Store soon after we moved to Eccles School House in exchange for
the enormous mahogany wardrobe that had come from Edinburgh just after we were married ~ if I remember right, once someone had come to value the wardrobe, I went to Norwich and with all that credit bought bunks for the kids and bedding, the two kitchen stools,
and no.4 below . . .
4. The Ercol chair ~ so comfortable and handsome ~ and it has lasted brilliantly all these years ~ well it must be 50 as Will was born shortly after we settled into the little old school house and he'll be 51 on
4th July ~ I have had to have new webbing fitted a couple of times, by Agars, a Whitby furniture store which sells Ercol ~ I merrily brought the strips of webbing home with me thinking I could fit them myself but ~ no way ~ it took two of Agars men
to do it, and with special tools at that ! But otherwise it is good as new ! And wonderfully well designed ! This is my upstairs reading station !
5. After our divorce, when we were in North View,and intending to
become a serious writer, I treated myself to this madly modern seat ~ can't remember what it is called, but it certainly is good for the spine ~ you have to sit up straight on it, the weight on your knees ~ I can remember sitting there typing for hours
on end without getting back ache. It wasn't much good here in my study because the work top is bar height, but I still use it if I'm working in the attic ~ when I think how much typing I've done on it over the years ~ two novels, the granary booklet
and dozens of articles ~ never mind letters to Editors etc ~ sadly much of it to no avail !!
6. This red office chair is very useful ~ when John was here, one of us could sit on it alongside the typing chair to discuss a project or chat ~ we spent
a great deal of time typing up the deeds of the house ~ he was quite clever at deciphering the copperlate handwriting and as he dictated I typed them up ~ this was an excellent idea as doing this we really had to study the documents and think about their
meaning, which might not have been so easy just skimming through the originals with all the legal jargon and endless repetition. Recently Di has been teaching me to use the Kobo (similar to the kindle), and now the digital camera.
Sometimes a friend who isn't on the internet will ask me to look something up for them ~ sheet music for Jean, historical snippets for Parry, and Mick and Rosemary sometimes look for books or holiday hotels ~ whoever, it means they can sit comfortably
explaining what it is they are looking for while I search Google.
7 and 8 ~ the recently acquired posh black typing chair ~ well, a 'bar' chair actually, to allow for the height of my worktop. No more back ache ~ I sit here in
total comfort ~ and splendour ~ writing my blog !
And that's it as far as chairs go ~ if there are two or three friends here for supper, then one of the strong men has to fetch the battered black chair down from the attic. Oh ~ and I do have the
two stools, one painted yellow the other green, which were also part of the mahogany wardrobe deal ~ they originally had padded seats but those have gone years ago, but they are OK and fit under the kitchen table happily.
I know that most people have
sets of chairs, probably matching their dining table and sideboard. I think to start with we had a set of four oak chairs which matched the gateleg table and Welsh dresser that Howard was able to buy with his National Service savings ~ he probably
has them still in his Cottingham bungalow.
There is another chair snippet I must add here, but for now I must go and make supper ~ I've got a nice piece of fresh cod, Jersey royals and frozen peas !! Gawd ~ I'm suddenly starving !
it is 8.45 and I want to make a cup of coffee and settle down to watch the next TOWN programme at 9.0 so the rest of the CHAIR story will have to wait till morning.
It has been a wonderful day ~ at last Ray turned up and did a good hour in my little
garden, then having gone over to the Bank to get cash for the Foot Man on Thursday, I willed myself to climb the steep path up to Flowergate, to call at the Sutcliffe Gallery to get a photo of Henry Freeman, one of our famous Victorian characters ~ in fact
he lived here in this house around 1880 ~ I found him in 1881 census and again in tenancy lists for this house ~ more of him anon ~ but Mike Shaw the Gallery owner gave me a postcard ~ I mean, GAVE ME IT FREE ~ and I shall put their website here in case anyone
is interested in Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, Whitby's famous photographer.
And that wasn't all ~ Chris Dove brought me a morning glory seedling with instructions for care and nurture ~ I love Morning Glory but have rarely managed to see one through
to flowering ! How much kindness there is around !
Right ~ that's more than enough for tonight ~ wonder if I have a morning glory picture ~ no, I'll look tomorrow ! And so Good Night !
Next Day ~ June 12th
Have found morning glory picture ~ now let me finish chair story !
Right ~ I'd almost forgotten about this, but in September 1955 when that van load of furniture
arrived at our Buxton flat from Aunt G in Edinburgh, among everything else there were some dining chairs ~ a set of six, I think there were, heavy Victorian chairs with leather seats and leather backs ~ ugly and riddled with woodworm. Now
looking back it sounds idiotic, but in fact we THREW THEM AWAY ! For one thing, our home ~ a maisonette in the staff quartes at the back of West House, Manchester Road ~ which until now had been sparsely furnished with the stuff we had bought
with Howard's savings, was now bursting at the seams, which was wonderful in some ways but there really was nowhere to put these heavy ugly chairs ~ we ended up with them lined up on the corridow between kitchen and living room ~ and they were really a darned
Of course, we should have called in an antique dealer who would probably have been pleased to take them. Once the woodworm had been treated, no doubt someone would have been delighted with a set of six chairs including two
carvers. But I hadn't that much sense ~ I'm ashamed to say, all I wanted was to be rid of them. It so happened that nearby was the burnt out shell of what had obviously been an enormous up-market hotel. I persuaded
Howard, poor chap, to take one of our unwanted chairs down there every night and dump it, until we'd got rid of them all. Maybe an enterprising onlooker was whipping them away each night either for himself or to sell to an antique dealer.
Which we should have done ourselves. If we'd had any sense. A few quid would have been very welcome at that stage. But let's hope the chairs were rescued and restored and eventually found a good home.