In preparation for the arrival of the Diocesan Archive files at the end of November we had to do some tidying up of our storerooms. The Archive file boxes were destined for the Girls’ Vestry (off the Crypt), so space was needed elsewhere to house things like wine and catering items. In the storeroom to the right, before you go into the church office, I discovered that there were about a dozen old chapel chairs which looked very worse for wear after spending so long in the cold and damp.
The old chapel chairs were taken out of the storeroom and placed outside the external Choir Vestry door so that I could figure out how many I could get into the back of my car. Just as I was about to start loading them a chap jumped up from the pavement on Albert Terrace and asked what I was planning to do with the old chairs. I said, “Unfortunately, I was about to ferry them to the recycling centre at Hazlehead”. With that information the chap introduced himself as Dave Fraser and said he’d started doing renovation work as a hobby when he retired. So, we agreed that he would return and pick-up all the old chairs and have a go at renovating them. Here’s how the chairs looked outside St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral prior to being picked up.
Here’s what they looked like after a lot of scrubbing and then being thoroughly dried out in front of an open fire at Dave’s house. Unfortunately, two of the chairs were unsalvageable, but they offered up the parts required to complete repairs on two other chairs. The chairs were then hand waxed and polished. Dave donated six of the chapel chairs to the “Smile Scotland” Charity. You can find out more about Smile Scotland here: https://smilescotland-auctionhouse.org.uk/
Dave Fraser now runs “Mantiques Scotland” which specialises in interesting antique and vintage items. The firm specialises in renovating and repurposing a wide variety of items, such as, signage, lighting, furniture, shop fittings, vintage advertising, car/motorcycle items and even an ejector seat. You can find Mantiques Scotland on Instagram @mantiquesscotland.
So, I guess someone was looking down that day and ensured that the chapel chairs went on to have further useful lives elsewhere!