Worksop was the hub for the Windsor Chair

Furniture maker Mr Kelk
Furniture maker Mr Kelk
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This week’s archive corner shows Jack Kelk during his apprenticeship at Allsop in 1929.

Allsopp were a firm who specialised in making Windsor Chairs.

A Windsor chair is a chair built with a solid wooden seat which was often carved into a shallow dish or saddle shape for comfort.

Jack Kelk was the last chair maker in Worksop, and he also started his own business in Shelley Street where he made cricket bats.

Chairs were made from elm, yew and cherry, the most expensive selling for 18 shillings.

Mr Kelk died in 1948 at the age of 86-years-old.

There were a number of Windsor chair makers in Worksop, including Allsop and Gabbitas.

In 1822 John Gabbitas moved from Gamston to the common at Worksop.

After his death in 1839 his son Frederick and brother Henry continued the trade.

Chairs were marked I Gabbitas until 1839, then E. Gabbitas for John’s wife Elizabeth who ran the business.

The firm took over the timber yard previously occupied by Benjamin Garside but in 1898 the business closed.

The Gilling family worked on Carlton Road from 1853 to 1916.

William Gilling died in 1898 and the firm of Gilling and Gabbitas were advertised as wholesale Windsor chair makers in 1902.

Richard Allsop in Cheapside is listed as a chair maker in trade directories from 1832 to 1895, and John Stenton of Eastgate is listed from 1853 to 1872.

William Brammer had a chair factory on Eastgate which was destroyed by fire in 1890.

He moved to the Priory Mill which was also destroyed by fire in 1912.