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February 07, 2017, 04:17 PM

Antique Church Furnishings moves to Betchworth

By Thornton Kay

Strip out in Forest Gate [photo ACF

Moody shot of A Radical Church [photo ACF
Painted organ pipes - handy for reuse as ducts [photo ACF
The old gallery at Arc [photo ACF

Surrey, UK - The village of Betchworth on the flood plain of the Mole, a river known for its wild botany and abundant fish first mentioned in the Domesday Book, is the new home of Antique Church Furnishings having moved from Walton on Thames around twenty miles to the north - its home of twenty-five years.

"End of an era. We officially move out of our warehouse today [31st January] and thus ends nearly 25 years of my life. What a damp, dusty old place it was. But. It paid for home, family and stuff. Meanwhile, our neat and tidy little warehouse in Betchworth is the future," wrote Laurence Skilling, one of the two owners.

And the business continues with the strip out of a church in east London, no doubt undergoing a re-ordering required for 'A Radical Curch' - The Arc Church, Forest Gate in London's East End - "what we would call a Messy Job" wrote Lawrence whose photos are attached to this article.

Incidentally, Betchworth Castle, now in ruins, was once owned by Henry Hope founder of the Art Union and son of Thomas, who reused castle masonry on other projects - possibly Deepdene nearby in Dorking, which he inherited from his father. Betchworth was also home to the Dorking Greystone Lime Co which manufactured building lime in kilns along the Pilgrims' Way footpath which include Hoffman, Dietz and flare kilns. A narrow-gauge steam railway connected the kilns to the main line.

The first engine to shunt on the standard gauge portion was named The Coffeepot and is now preserved at Beamish Museum. Baxter, the last engine to work the line, and featured by the Rev. W.V. Awdry in 'Stepney the Bluebell Engine', is preserved on the Bluebell Railway. A 3 ft 2 1⁄4 in (972 mm) gauge locomotive, Townsend Hook 0-4-0, is at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum. William Finlay, the sister engine of Townsend Hook, is at Talyllyn Railway.

Antique Church Furnishings

Tumblr: Antique Church Furnishings photo gallery and blog

Story Type:  News

ID: 98835

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