A COLLECTION of early Mouseman furniture commissioned by a former Keighley wool merchant who in his later years lived in Kettlewell, was sold at auction for way over the expected estimates.

The family collection of the late William Beckett Henderson, consisted of ten separate lots, including wardrobes and bedside cupboards, and sold for a combined hammer price of £60,650.

Also included in the sale was a portrait of John Henderson, William’s son, by the artist, Reginald Grange Brundit. Brundit, who died in 1960, was the founder member of the Wharfedale Group of artists, and painted many landscape scenes in North Yorkshire. The portrait, pictured below, which has the young John Henderson wearing a kilt and seated on a Mouseman stool, sold for £950 - almost double its top estimate.

The collection came up for sale at a Tennants, of Leyburn, 20th Century design sale with new bidders battling it out with serious collectors of the rare 1930s pieces by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson, who lived and worked in Kilburn, and whose pieces often feature his trademark carved mouse. Examples of his work can be seen in many churches in the area - such as the pews and church stalls in St Mary’s Conistone, and civic furniture in Skipton Town Hall.

Tennants’ 20th century design specialist, Diane Sinnott, said early Mouseman furniture always sold well, but the prices realised at the recent sale were ‘extraordinary’.

“It was a pleasure to handle so many fine pieces with good provenance and see many of them go back into private Yorkshire collections,” she said.

William Becket Henderson must have been a real Mouseman enthusiast. He commissioned several pieces and the original sales records are held in the Mouseman workshop archive at Kilburn. They show that the former wool merchant began commissioning furniture in 1926 with a table. Two 1930s oak panelled double wardrobes sold for £9,800 and £9,200, against an estimate of between £4,000 and £6,000; and two 1930s bedside cupboards which sold for £8,500 and £7,500 - way over the estimate of between £1,500 and £2,500.

YORKSHIRE Building Society celebrated Yorkshire Day on August 1 by providing a useful glossary of the local dialect, which it also hopes will help all those from outside the county thinking about moving to God’s Own County post coronavirus.

So, along with the more usual ginnel (alleyway); laithe (barn), and good ‘un (good one), are latin (searching for), gradley (good) and sneck (door).

Charles Mungroo, a senior manager at YBS in charge of mortgages says: “We hope our Yorkshire dialect glossary will help anyone thinking of flittin’ to God’s Own Country to understand some of the local phrases they may come across when it comes to searching for a home in our beautiful county.

“We are rightly proud of our Yorkshire roots and of helping people buy their own homes for over 150 years, but as we celebrate Yorkshire Day it is also worth pointing out that about 80 per cent of our business is done outside the region. So as we proudly fly the White Rose flag, we’re equally proud to help people save for the future and buy their homes all over the country.”

SECRET Skipton - a book which claims to rediscover some of the lost stories of the town’s past, has recently been published. Written and researched by Margaret Brecknell, who lives in Preston, the book looks at the castle, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the town’s cotton mills.

It is the latest in publishers Amberley’s ‘Secret’ series, and aims to discover he lesser-known and hidden heritage of the North Yorkshire market town of Skipton, focusing on its events, people and places.

Margaret, says her publishers, is a freelance writer with a passion for history and sport. After graduating from Manchester University with an honours degree in Latin, she worked at a stockbroking firm for many years.

She now focusses on writing, and her articles have been published in a wide range of different magazines including History Scotland, Best of British, Evergreen and Catworld. She is also a regular contributor to the Northern Soul website.

Secret Skipton, is priced at £14.99, and is published by Amberley Books.

MARTIN House Hospice, which cares for children and young people with life limiting conditions across North Yorkshire, says it hopes plenty of people will sign up for its rescheduled fundraising climb of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The event had been due to take place in June, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown. It will now take place on Saturday September 12. Martin House says organisers have worked hard to make sure it can go ahead safely, following the latest Government guidelines, and will be the only event in the Martin House fundraising calender still able to go ahead.

People will be challenged to complete the peaks, Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent, a distance of 24 miles in 10 to 12 hours, with walkers asked to raise at least £150 in sponsorship; or just Penyghent on its own, in four hours, with walkers asked to raise a minimum of £50. Registering for the Three Peaks is £35, and £20 for the one.

Nikki Denton, events manager at Martin House, said: “The Yorkshire Three Peaks is the only event in the Martin House calendar that is still able to go ahead this year, so its success is more crucial than ever.

“We have worked hard to ensure that we can hold the event safely, following the latest government guidelines, and we hope that people will join us to enjoy some of the most magnificent countryside and challenging walks Yorkshire has to offer.”

It is the third year the charity has organised a Three Peaks walk. Both walks are self-led, but Martin House is working with Kuta Outdoors, which will provide instructions and guides on the route, as well as offering training tips in the run up to the event.

Nikki added: “We need to raise nearly 90 per cent of the £9 million it costs to run Martin House each year, and the pandemic has hit our fundraising hard.

“We hope people will join us to support families from their communities who need the support of Martin House through the pandemic, and beyond.”

More details about the Yorkshire Three Peaks and One Peak challenges are available at www.martinhouse.org.uk/yorkshirethreepeaks or by emailing events@martinhouse.org.uk.

It was 50 years ago, at the end of July, 1970, that the Craven Herald reported on the sudden death of the Rt Hon Iain Macleod MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. The son of Skipton died from a heart attack aged just 56 at 11 Downing Street, London. The Herald reported on July 24 that Mr Macleod had recently had an operation for an appendicitis, but had appeared to be on the road to recovery. His last appearance in the House of Commons had been when he took part in a debate on the Queen’s Speech in which he explained the new Government’s Treasury policy.

He was born in November 11,1913 at Clifford House, Keighley Road, Skipton. His funeral, on July 24, took place at St Andrew’s Church, Gargrave, and was attended by the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, who read the lesson. The Prime Minster was joined by many cabinet and treasury colleagues, including William Whitelaw, and Francis Pym and the service was conducted by the Rev Kenneth Cook, the vicar of Gargrave with the Archdeacon of Craven, and the Bishop of Bradford.