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.
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.
As if by magic, when I was thinking I wouldn’t find any AM stamped folding chairs again, along come two at once. Dug from an old boys loft these two have been well loved and looked after. One chair has the 1940s WW2 era AM and kings crown paint/ink stamp Mark on the underside and the stores reference code 21B/890. The other, dating from post war 1952 has the date etched into the chairs seat frame and also the AM and crown logo etched alongside. It also has the stores reference number stenciled on the frame. Two wonderful folding chairs showing the differences in markings from Wartime 1940s to the 1950s.
Finally oh finally after 5 months of waiting, my courier has come up trumps and delivered the 1939 Air ministry stamped Ellmore wicker chair I rooted out from a random chaps old barn so long ago. These chairs seem to be considerably less well known than their contemporary wicker chair made by Lloyd loom and featured so heavily in photographs of RAF pilots lounging about like coiled springs at their dispersal points. Beautifull made and still sturdy despite some minor damage, it is wicker after all. The makers mark and AM logo ar embossed on a separate piece of material which has then been bound into the wicker structure. Along with the makers AM logo I can see faintly another AM and crown stamped on possibly after manufacture onto the same makers name strip. Perhaps made when actually issued from stores etc.
Anyway. Really chuffed at last to have found such a piece. I wonder who may have sat in it.