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26 February 2010 | PR 10/33

Historical furniture fetches funds to support future students on creative courses

Philip Serrell

Philip Serrell with some of the furniture

An auction of noteworthy Loughborough University furniture made by former students in the 1930s has raised more than £30,000 towards a scholarship fund for students of creative design.

More than 170 pieces of bedroom furniture, including wardrobe sets, desks and mirrors, as well as a small selection of refectory tables, were sold from their former home in Hazlerigg Hall by television antiques expert and Loughborough alumnus Philip Serrell.

Close to 150 people registered in person and online for the auction which attracted bidders from as far afield as the Isle of Wight, Jersey and the USA. 

Amongst the highest selling lots was an oak circular table which raised in excess of £3,400. Some of the more intricate eight panel wardrobe sets, original designs of which are signed by Peter Waals and held in the University archives, fetched up to £850 a piece.

The pieces were designed by Waals in the Cotswold tradition and built by third year handicraft students in the late 1930s under the direction of Edward Barnsley.

Waals is considered a prime mover in the development and promotion of the Cotswold Tradition of furniture design and making, and in 1935 became a consultant in design for the handicraft course in Loughborough College’s Teacher Training Department until his death in 1937.

Auctioneer and valuer Serrell, who trained to become a PE teacher before embarking on his current career, has fond memories of Loughborough and was delighted to see so many former students come back to campus to bid for a piece the University’s history.

“There were people here in their forties, fifties, sixties and seventies who had returned to buy a piece of their past,” he explained. “The fact bidders could walk away with a piece of furniture they may well have used when studying at Loughborough is really quite something. I hope everyone enjoyed the experience.“

The furniture was sold as part of the refurbishment programme of former halls of residence Hazlerigg Hall, though multiple sets will be retained for the University’s permanent collection.

Funds raised will go to the Creative Scholarship Fund which supports students in art and design, enabling the most talented to study at Loughborough regardless of their social or economic circumstances, and developing resources and opportunities to help such artists and designers realise their full potential.

Funds raised through the auction are subject to dealer’s commission and expenses.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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