1944 Biggin Hill lounge chairs being rejuvenated .

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.  


Air Ministry Stick Back chair.

Hurrah, finally an Air Ministry item from close to home.  This gorgeous chair popped up on eBay recently and being from nearby to me in Thornton Clevelys, I simply had to have it.  The chair is in original condition with its original dark finish and is still very sturdy.  There is some wear and tear but what can one expect from a chair produced in 1939 and presumably flung around an RAF base most of its life. It may have even come from a local station such as Squires gate, Weeton or Kirkham.  

Stamped in the usual manor underneath with the AM and crown and also the makers name D Haines and date 1939. A lovely chair indeed. Originally given the stores reference 21B/108 this makes the pattern of chair one of the earliest in the RAF inventory.

I picked it up from the amazing Anita at ‘The Emporium’ on George’s lane in Cleveleys. Go check them out.  Well worth a visit.


Large Dome top mantel clock. 

As war progressed in Europe, material shortages were ever present.  This like most things translated into changes in the presentation of clocks constructed for the RAF.  Elliot’s for example made large mantel clocks from spare mahogany back boxes that were then vanerred in oak. Surplus dials and hands were also used hence the ornate hands of these dome top clocks. This clock I recently purchased is missing it’s glass sadly but is in original condition. The internals of the clock show how the old back box was plugged and old hatches and peg holes were covered over with the vaneer. The rear door is made of unvarnished tiger oak. This clock has a 1941 Elliot movement.  


1941 Elliot white dial clock.

From the fantastic Aeroclocks is this 1941 Elliot fusee white dial wall clock. The dial has been restored and the case cleaned.  The movement has been serviced and keeps time fantastically well.  Due to appear on my website which is going live in August I thought I would preview a few of the items I will be listing for sale.




Airministrybybuttons.co.uk coming soon.

Due to my usual trip offshore with work I haven’t been able to publish my website sadly and start selling clocks.  I am however working in it on my down time and have started listing a few items for sale.  I return on the 22nd and am looking to publish the site on August 6th.  Listed for sale will be some 14 inch white dial clocks,a small mantel clock, a large mantel clock, some folding Air Ministry chairs, Air ministry captains chairs and a few items of RAF station wares.  Fingers crossed my website building novice skills don’t shine through too badly.

“I say old bean, what a smell. Time for a wash me thinks ” -RAF Wash bowl and water jug.

After much searching and scratching my head to find both items in this pairing, the usual suspect in the form of David Farnsworth of the Historic Flying Clothing company (www.historicflyingclothing.com)came up trumps and provided me with this beautiful pre war RAF water jug that would have been used in conjunction with the colossal wash bowl I purchased some time ago.  With a beautiful gilt winged crest and gilding to the handle and rim, this jug I am sure you will agree would have looked just the ticket in an officers mess.  



Two years ago I started to collect old Air Ministry station furniture. After seeing some clocks at the home of David Farnsworth of the historic flying clothing company whilst I was collecting an RAF wash stand from him, my attention turned to RAF clocks.  This interest was further expanded when I met Bob Gardner of Aeroclocks and from that day a friendship and mentorship was started.  Bob was happy to pass on his knowledge for which I am eternally grateful.  In May, after Bob expressed a desire to retire, I purchased the clock side of Aeroclocks and his remaining clocks.  I am extremely proud to have been extended this opportunity by Bob and look forward to carrying on the Aeroclocks reputation and business.  Bob will carry on to trade as Aeroclocks selling his well known book and I will shortly be publishing my website airministrybybuttons.co.uk where I will be selling RAF mantel clocks, wall clocks and Air Ministry furniture and station items.  Further updates on the progress of the site will follow shortly. 

Time to spread my wings.

After amassing a small mountain of RAF and Air Ministry wartime furniture and station oddities for a couple of years now, the realisation that I have far too much and morphed into my mother and become a hoarder has hit home. I would need a small mansion to house all my items and after a fun filled wedding I have come back down to earth and sorted myself a commercial unit from which to turn my hobby and hoarding into a business of sorts.  I have taken on a small 370sqft unit to allow me to store and work on my collection ready to sell. Items range from station clocks, desks, lockers, wash stands, chairs down to cutlery and crockery.  A new website and online store is soon to follow called airministrybybuttons.co.uk once I hit land from being away working. Here are a few pics of the new office. 


Project number 1 – 1939 SM&Co small mantle clock.

I recently acquired this SM&Co small mantel clock.  The poor old thing is in slightly worse for wear condition. The solve ring on the dial has completely gone and at some point red paint was applied to the dial as there are remnants in the crown etching.  The movement is also grubby.  The case is however in great condition so I am going to carry out my first restoration and have the clock overhauled.  I will re silver the dial, clean and service the movement and re build.  I will pop on some pictures soon of the restored clock.  In the meantime here are some ‘before’ pictures.