TV ANTIQUES expert Eric Knowles gave his backing to our appeal to save the Accrington Pals Memorial Chapel by giving a humorous talk on life in the antiques business.
The Antiques Roadshow presenter visited the new Coppice Theatre at Accrington and Rossendale College last Wednesday, minus his trademark moustache and dickie bow.
He gave an informative talk and even held a mock auction to demonstrate how fast the bidding can be.
And nobody even realised that his talk lasted half an hour longer than planned.
Around 130 tickets were sold for the event, raising around £626 for the Aspire Appeal.
Andy Shepherd of the appeal committee said: "It was excellent, a really enjoyable event. We had people coming from all over and we are hoping to have a similar event in the near future."
Canapes and drinks were provided by students at the college, while the venue was made available free of charge
During the evening Eric was asked to look at a samovar – a Russian teapot – presented to Mrs Lomas, the wife of a former church vicar, in 1906.
It later came into the possession of Julia Hatfield, who lives in Sheffield but is originally from Burnley, who inherited it from her late aunt.
It bears the inscription: "Presented as a token of esteem from the St John’s Mothers’ Club."
When Julia heard of the appeal she kindly offered to give it back to the church.
Although it isn’t one of Eric’s areas of expertise, he noted that it wasn’t made of silver and didn’t think it was particularly valuable but said it was a fascinating piece of the church’s history and must be of great sentimental value.
The samovar is now at the Haworth Art Gallery for safekeeping and it is hoped that eventually it will go on display in the church when it re-opens.
l The excellent sum raised at the Eric Knowles evening has taken the appeal fund total to £31,851.
We are bidding to raise £50,000 to allow the beautiful St John’s Church, in which the Pals Chapel is based, to re-open.
Caroline Lee raised £1,274 from her sponsored London Marathon run, nearly £200 more than originally thought.
A church raffle and the sale of refreshments brought in £73 and there have been donations this week from: In memory of the late Mr Mark Newham £70; in memory of Mr J Whalley £5; in memory of Mary Fincham from nephew Rob and sister-in-law Bell £20; in memory of my very dear friend Mary from Anne £20; and anon £50.
l Don’t forget that tomorrow (Saturday) there is an Elvis night for the appeal at the Accrington Stanley Sports Bar from 8pm.
Joe Garon is brilliant singing as Elvis and also included in the £5 ticket price will be a bottle raffle and other games and activities.
l On Sunday many people from St John’s will be talking part in the Big Charity Walk along the Leeds- Liverpool Canal towpath from Clayton-le-Moors to Burnley.
There is still time to sponsor them by emailing email@example.com