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Charity auction of local artworks raises £5,500 for national arts charity

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Cuttlestones’ Ben Gamble, Lars Tharp,
John Giffard of Chillington Hall and Dr Stephen Deuchar,
Director of the Art Fund.

A charity auction which took place at Chillington Hall on Wednesday, 18th July has raised over £5,500 for The Art Fund. The event was a sell-out success, with over a hundred art enthusiasts from across Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands gathering for the opportunity to buy works by local artists in the name of a good cause.

Lots included paintings, sculptures, glassware, ceramics and mixed-media works from Staffordshire-based artists; including Rita Banks from Stone, Sandon’s Kim Bramley, Simon Manby and Lee Mackay from Wootton and Lisa Henderson from Stafford, with a piece by Oswestry-based artist Alistair Tucker representing Shropshire. Other items were donated by local firms Portmeirion, Moorcroft, Penkridge Ceramics, Burslem Pottery, Burgess Dorling & Leigh Ltd, Staffordshire and Shropshire-based members of the Art Fund, Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort and Tittensor’s Old School Wines.

Guests enjoyed a drinks reception, kindly sponsored by FBC Manby Solicitors, in Chillington Hall’s breathtaking reception rooms with music by the Madi Stimpson Trio adding to the atmosphere. A two course meal was then served before the Art Fund’s Director, Dr Stephen Deuchar, introduced the compere for the evening; BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp. Lars provided a hugely entertaining and informative insight into his life in art and antiques and what makes him so passionate about the charity he was there to support, before handing the floor to Ben Gamble of local auction house Cuttlestones, who proceeded to use every trick in his auctioneer’s book to ensure the very best prices were achieved on the generously donated lots.

Takings from the auction, ticket sales, a silent auction, sponsorship and raffle totalled the impressive figure of £5,500; which will go toward helping the Art Fund in its quest to secure important art works of all ages and types for the nation’s galleries and museums. In the past decade the fund has made grants to Staffordshire organisations including the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the Staffordshire Record Office and the Wedgwood Museum totalling £548,777 to help toward the purchase and display of items that include the Staffordshire Hoard, paintings and medieval jewellery.

Sue Taylor of the Staffordshire branch of the Art Fund, who organised the event, says:

We are absolutely delighted with the final figure – it’s far beyond what we had hoped to achieve. We couldn’t have done all this without the generosity of our sponsors, those who donated works and other items to the auction and to the volunteers from the Art Fund who helped everything run smoothly on the night. Special thanks must also go to John and Crescent Giffard for their hospitality and kind use of their beautiful home for the evening and to 2nd Brewood Scout Group for their help with parking and the sale of raffle tickets.

For further information on The Art Fund and its work, visit

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