Tuesday, 21 September 2010

My grandmother's chair

This is my grandmother as I remember her in her later years. She was in her 90s here and in the winter she would move this chair into the sun and sit, looking out over her garden, snoozing, or just looking. I always remember her in this chair. She had two of them and they were her mothers' I think. She only ever had the money to get one re-upholstered and the other languished in it's original covering. She particularly liked the chairs because she was quite short and they were small and upright. When she died I couldn't bear to throw them out and no one else wanted them, so I took them to my small flat. I had every intention of getting them re-upholstered but never got round to it and in the end they have just cluttered up everywhere and had been and been virtually destroyed by the cats who seemed to think the rough wool covering was a perfect claw sharpener!

I still couldn't bring myself to throw them away despite their poor state but Ian insisted that if they came to France they must finally be re-upholstered. After a few attempts at finding an reasonable upholster I eventually stumbled into Chris from Valley Upholsters. He works with a partner in a smallish mews workshop near the station and mostly does contract and commercial work. However, he seemed genuinely interested in the chairs and knowledgeable about their construction and for a very reasonable sum of money put his heart and soul into rebuilding, restoring and recovering them. I got them back yesterday and I think my grandmother would be delighted to think that her old chairs will now be used again, and with any luck could last another 100 years!