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TV Auctioneer and Loughborough graduate Philip Serrell to support Loughborough University in furniture auction

Loughborough has a unique and interesting history whereby todays internationally recognised Design School emerged from a commitment to inviting leading craftsmen from ‘the Cotswold School’ to train students in furniture making. The ‘Handicraft Unit’, as it was then known required its students to set aside time each week to work under two of the most famous proponents of the Cotswold School, firstly in Peter Waals and then Edward Barnsley. They produced functional items that were used by the students and as a result the University now has a rich collection of furniture of museum quality. The most visible example of this was the bedroom sets that were made for each college bedroom.

These consisted of a chest of drawers, wardrobe and book case and chairs that often had the individual students initials carved into them. While the university is committed to retaining key items from the collection it has a surplus of bedroom sets and chairs which are to be sold off as part of an online auction. Loughborough graduate and TV auctioneer Philip Serrell will manage the auction. Proceeds from the auction will be donated back to the University to support future students and cutting edge research projects. Find out more about donating to Loughborough University online.

To coincide with this auction and to further celebrate this interesting history, LU Arts are working with Jennifer Clark, University Archivist, to organise an exhibition in Martin Hall Exhibition Space of some of the fascinating material that records this time in the University's history, upon which its motto ‘training through production’ originated. LU Arts has also commissioned artist Giles Round to re-design its offices, taking inspiration from the archive material as well as incorporating items from the collection itself.

Furniture to be sold at auction can be viewed in West Park Teaching Hub between 8 and 10 September. Items must be collected before 15 September 2017. Items will be sold online. The auction will close online at 6pm, Sunday 10 September 2017. If you bid on an item in the auction, notification will be sent to you between 9am and 11am on 11 September to let you know if you have been successful. 

Philip Serrell will be available on Sunday 10 September in West Park Teaching Hub. 

Furniture viewing in West Park teaching Hub

  • Friday 8 September 2017: 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday 9 September 2017: 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday 10 September: 10am – 4pm 

Collection times for sold items West Park Teaching Hub

If you bid on an item in the auction, notification will be sent to you between 9am and 11am on 11 September to let you know if you have been successful. 

Collection times for items are:

  • Monday 11 September 2017: 10am – 3pm 
  • Tuesday 12 September: 10am – 3pm 
  • Wednesday 13 September: 10am – 3pm 
  • Thursday 14 September: 10am – 3pm


To coincide with the auction there will be a special exhibition at Martin Hall to find out more about this unique part of Loughborough history.

Handicraft Unit Display: Martin Hall Exhibition Space
Opening Friday 8 September – Sunday 10 September
Open thereafter Monday 11 September – Friday 13 October (Mon – Fri, 10am-4pm)

Did you make any of this furniture?

Part of the collection is engraved with the names of the students that made them. Could your piece be part of the collection? View the selection online and contact us via events@lboro.ac.uk if you spot your own work. Our very own Vice-Chancellor’s father’s work was amongst the collection.  

+44(0)1509 228497

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Loughborough University
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