Whilst browsing the depths of eBay I stumbled across a small shelving unit that I recognised from photo research I have been doing. I found this small unit that would have once lived alongside an airmans bed in their billet or barrack block. I have also recently found some lockers that would have been in these early blocks too and hung above the airmans bed. This unit has a beautiful towel rail on the back of it and is beautifully constructed for such a run of the mill item. Check out the picture of an RAF 1920s billet to see how such a unitvwould have been placed and also the presence of the overhead lockers.
Hurrah. After a few weeks away my upholsterer at the amazing Reloved Upholstery in Manchester has come up trumps again. These two gorgeous chairs will be for sale through the Reloved upholstery website shortly. The chairs came from the ATC unit still at Biggin Hill who were disposing of surplus items some years ago. They had been gifted the chairs from the RAF station as it closed. I acquired these chairs and have had them in storage until now. The old destroyed coverings were removed and the internals renewed and replaced like for like where required to keep as much of the chairs original as possible. The frames were all stamped with the AM mark and some a 1944 date. An original example of the chair can be found at the RAF museum reserve collection at Stafford. These chairs have been covered in London Underground coverings and conform to all modern fire standards etc. The frames have been stripped and repolished. Really lovely chairs expertly restored.
3 years ago whilst living in sunny Brussels I found in the wonder that is eBay, a genuine Air Ministry RAF reclining chair. Now, as fate would have it I purchased the chair only to be emailed shortly after to say it was gone, and being in Belgium I could do nothing about it. Anyway, after licking my wounds, and purchasing every other RAF chair, clock, coat hanger or anything AM I could find in withdrawal I have finally found and had delivered a beautiful RAF reclining chair. Rare as hens teeth this beautiful chair is original apart from the new covering that replaced the destroyed old vynide. These chairs are often seen in dispersal images and ante rooms. This chair is constructed of oak and is AM stamped and dated on the underside. The year is 1939. A makers signature in west Wycombe can also be seen. Enjoy the pics .
After a trip to the RAF Museum Reserve collection some time ago and viewing the catalogue of RAF issued furniture from the 1930s, I managed to stumble upon one of the rarer chairs that were issued early on in RAF history. Here we have a gorgeous folding steamer chair or as the catalogue states, ‘chair arm foldin’ stores code reference 21B/447, the 447 indicating that this is a very early pattern of furniture.
The chair has a weaved backing and vynide seat covering fastened by studs to the frame. The chair is not stamped with the AM logo rather a small WK and crown symbol that is found on other Air Ministry issue equipment including clocks and other furniture.
A lovely piece that is certainly incredibly rare and in great condition. Oh and apologies for the poor pictures. Moving home has meant a decent backdrop is hard to find.
Yesterday I arrived home from work offshore knowing I had been a bad boy with regards to my spending. Today the fruits of my off shift antics became a reality when 3 large parcels arrived at my house. Inside each box was a solitary Small mantle clock. And here they are. This time I managed to get myself on a stunning 1927 EC&W powered clock, a 1939 Elliott and gorgeous 1936 SM&Co clock interestingly also stamped with a Royal Observer corps reference number stamped on the underside. See snaps below.
Well 2016 was certainly a year to forget for so many reasons but here we go with 2017 and hopefully it will be a good one. The last few months I must apologise for being quiet. House moves and buying up clocks and furniture rather took over my time mixed in with a bit of work offshore.
Anyway. My New Years resolution is to progress my site and sell some stock.
One of the first things to arrive at chez Bell is this untouched and well worn 1941 movement and dial from a large dome too mantel clock. The bezel on this clock is the giveaway along with the large dial face. In rough condition this Elliott produced fusee movement will hopefully work up a treat once my clock maker has worked his magic. The dial is in great original condition and the glass, although separate from the bezel I’m sure can be rescued. If anyone has a spare case kicking about, pleeease feel free to get in touch.
Much to my wife’s dismay, not long after we moved a bit further north, the spare room has already become a dumping ground of sorts for the clocks I keep buying. In just a few weeks I’ve aquired another 4 and there’s another on its way. I think I may need help! Here we have a 1939 Elliott operations room clock, a 1936 SM&Co White dial, 1939 Elliot white dial, and 1938 Elliott small mantel clock all in original condition.
Recently I sent a chair to Re-loved in Manchester. With Si, the owner we came up with a plan on how to bring these gorgeous chairs back to life. The original covers and innards were all shot and past their best. Now, I know it may offend some collectors who prefer their items in original condition but to return these chairs to usable condition is far better than letting them linger. The covers were removed and innards removed. Instead of replacing with modern foam we went for traditional techniques which re-loved excel at. With springs and webbing and stuffing as originally intended the chair certainly feels different to modern arm chairs. The covers we replaced with a beautiful contemporary fabric (the name of which eludes me) and conforms to commercial fire safety standards. The frame was left as original as this chair I will be keeping for myself. A really really lovely chair expertly refurbished.
I have 7 more of theses chairs that I will be having re-worked by re-loved . If anyone would like to buy one and choose a covering to suit then feel free to get in touch.
A few weeks ago I handed over the first of my 1944 Air Ministry marked lounge chairs to be reupholstered to Si at Reloved in Manchester. Reloved was amazing Si was very passionate and interested in the chairs so I immediately knew it was the place to send the chairs.
Rather than recover them in a modern version of the green vynide they came with I have opted for some cool modern material. The innards will be traditional and the same as the battered ones that were past it but the covers will be a more modern taste. I have 7 of these chairs so will be keeping a couple and selling the rest.
The chairs originally came from the Air Cadet unit at Biggin Hill Aerodrome who had been gifted them by the station when the RAF pulled out. The cadets disposed of them to make space. After removing the coverings I found the AM stamping and 1944 date . Along with their use at Biggin hill, these chairs have a fascinating history.
A recent trip to the RAF reserve collection also confirmed their use as an anti room chair in an officers mess.
More pictures of the builds will follow.