Money For Old Chairs

by Gerry Lynch last modified 19 Sep, 2018 07:54 PM

West Wilts parish raises nearly a thousand pounds through ‘upcycling’ old plastic chairs

Excitement filled the September air in Dilton Marsh, as the long awaited Chair Expo and Auction arrived at Holy Trinity Church, turning ugly old school-type chairs into needed cash for church funds.

The church had run a summer challenge entitled ‘Transform-A-Chair’. For six weeks, fifty creative people had been busy transforming an ordinary plastic chair each into something special. Starting with something of the ‘uncomfortable school chair’ type, the challenge’s rules limited participants only by their imagination.

The chairs were given free by the church with the idea of auctioning the finished products.

With some people asking to have an additional chair a total of sixty-two stunning designs appeared on the day ready to be sold.

The first to appear was a friendly giraffe swiftly followed by a cow all ready to be milked. A cottage garden, a suited and booted chairman and vice chairman; golf trolley, dressing table; bumble-bee and floral delights were also among the exhibits.

Some were covered with fabric, others painted or découpaged. Others were were totally transformed with magnificent workmanship.

Ray Floyd of the Westbury Shed remade his chair entitled ‘The Oak and The Ash’ into a beautiful seating of wooden craftsmanship.

Dilton Marsh Poster.jpgBBC Radio Wiltshire presenters Ben Prater and James Thomas, who publicised the venture from the beginning, received a chair to ‘upcycle’ on-air to promote their local Swindon charity Renew, which is a budding men’s sheds project. Their exhibit was entitled ‘Mishell’ (Michelle).

Sue Stanley from Holy Trinity PCC said, “People came from far and wide to bid and enjoy the delicious food available. Bidding was fast and furious with the gavel sounding every few minutes as chairs flew from the stand to be safely stored in cars and vans. A truly fantastic day enjoyed by visitors and the community.

“Our special thanks to Lisa Crick who came up with this genius idea in the first place.

“We hoped to raise at least £5 per chair, or a total of £345 but we actually received nearly £850, for the cost of only £15 in expenses. L!

“We are really pleased with the money raised as we plan to use it for the making the church more useful and welcoming to the community. The really brilliant thing, however, was the fact that the event touched so many peoples' lives.

“We had a request, via Facebook, to use the idea in Australia!

“So many people were sharing the same experiences and joys at having a basic chair to transform. It sparked conversations with people in the same boat who they may not have met or talked to before.

“The Expo itself left visitors gasping in amazement at the creativity and imagination.

“The highest bid, a whopping £39, was for a chair transformed by a member of Westbury Shed. He had painted the chair black and cut out a design, not dissimilar to the tree of life, and added real life in the form of oak and ash wood to make arms and a surround”

Pictures from the day can be found on the Holy Trinity Facebook page.

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