Celebrating Chippendale: Otley’s Famous Son, June 2018

The life and times of Thomas Chippendale are to be celebrated with a series of events linked to the Chippendale 300 celebrations throughout Yorkshire.

Otley is to mark the 300th anniversary of Thomas Chippendale, with the Celebrating Chippendale: Otley’s Famous Son, June 2018 festival this summer.

The festival will celebrate the life of Britain’s greatest furniture maker who was born in Otley in 1718. Events for the celebration have been curated by a committee including members of Otley Town Council, Otley Town Partnership, Otley BID, Otley Chamber of Trade, Otley Pub Club and Otley Courthouse arts centre.

Events at the month-long festival include a birthday party in the building where he was possibly schooled, a concert of 18th-century music in the church where he was baptised, talks by Chippendale Society members highlighting his considerable skills, and an Antiques Roadshow-style event.

To further mark the birth of Chippendale, Otley is producing a celebratory Chippend’Ale beer in conjunction with Otley-based micro-brewer Paul Briscoe and Harrogate’s Daleside Brewery, planting a riverside Chippendale-inspired flower bed in Wharfemeadows Park, and launching a self-guided walking tour of 18th-century Otley. Town poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard, meanwhile, has produced a Chippendale-inspired poem, Thomas Carved Our Town.

Celebrating Chippendale: Otley’s Famous Son, June 2018 full programme

Celebrating the Birth of Thomas
18.00-22.00, June 2, 2018, Stew & Oyster, Otley LS21 3AY, free
A light-hearted celebration of Chippendale’s Birthday in the town of his birth and at the school he probably attended, now a pub.

Musick for a Summer Evening
19.30-21.30, June 5, 2018, All Saints Parish Church, Otley LS21 3DR, £10
A celebration of Thomas Chippendale’s Christening Day with a varied programmme of 18th-century music performed by local artistes.
Click here for tickets

“Junk or Jewel” What’s in YOUR attic?
19.30-21.45, June 14, 2018, All Saints Parish Church, Otley LS21 3DR, £5
Ever thought you owned something worthy of the Antiques Roadshow? Bring your heirlooms for free valuation by Hartley’s Auctioneers and Valuers of Ilkley.
Click here to download an evaluation form, or pick one up at Otley Core (11 Orchard St, Otley LS21 3NX), Otley Courthouse (Courthouse St, Otley LS21 3AN) or Otley Parish Church Office (56-58 Kirkgate, Otley LS21 3DR)

Through Tempestuous Seas: Exotic Woods in Chippendale Furniture
Thomas Chippendale: Hero of Wharfedale
19.30-21.30, June 22, 2018, Otley Courthouse, Otley LS21 3AN, £8
This pair of lectures by Dr Adam Bowett and James Lomax of the Chippendale Society will advance the appreciation of Thomas Chippendale.
Click here for tickets

Old Meets New – Making Chippendale Furniture on a 3D Printer
14.00-16.00, June 23, 2018, Otley Courthouse, Otley LS21 3AN, free
See 3D models of Chippendale’s chairs being made by a 21st century 3D printer of and a film about marquetry, one of the key skills of furniture making. The afternoon will also showcase the younger generation with an exhibition of their work inspired by Thomas Chippendale. More Information here

10 year olds and under are invited to submit their art work connected with Chippendale on the day. Ideas for art work include making a marquetry fan, a chair design, a motif on a clay tile and gilding the motif.  Click on the ideas to see how to do these items and read about Thomas Chippendale and his early life in Otley

Jack Metcalfe: Chippendale Marquetry Revealed
19.30-21.00, June 23, 2018, Otley Courthouse, Otley LS21 3AN, £8
Jack Metcalfe one of the leading experts in reproduction Chippendale Furniture will offer a talk focussing on the tools, techniques and timbers Chippendale used to produce his exquisite works.
Click here for tickets

Imagine what Otley was like in the early 18th century – The Chippendale Trail
11:00-13:00, June 26 & 19.00-21.00, June 27, Otley Courthouse, Otley LS21 3AN, free
Join Bob Brook outside Otley Courthouse for a walking tour of locations associated with Thomas Chippendale’s early life, and some buildings he would have known that are still around. Part of the Otley Walking Festival.
See here for more

The Otley Antique Fayre
10:00-15:00, June 30, Otley Courthouse, Otley LS21 3AN
Organisers cannot promise any Chippendale’s going cheap, but this antiques fair could be the perfect place to pick up other period bargains.
Click here for tickets

Chippendale’s Otley
Pick up Visit Otley’s new map and take a self-guided tour of key early 18th-century locations that Chippendale himself would have seen as a boy.

Tercentenary Flower Bed
Wander through Wharfemeadows Park by the River Wharfe and enjoy the specially commissioned flowerbed to commemorate the Chippendale anniversary.

The Life of Thomas Chippendale
June 1-30, 10:00-18:00, All Saints Parish Church, Otley LS21 3DR, free
An exhibition of Chippendale’s life, from his early years in Otley to fame (but not fortune) in London.

Other events in June include Otley Carnival on June 16 which will include a Chippendale Float and the 25th Anniversary celebrations of popular Border Morris Side Wayzgoose on June 9th where there should be dancing harking back to the early 18th Century.

To help publicise the town’s celebrations, Otley has joined the Chippendale Society’s Chippendale 300 initiative that includes other destinations where the famed cabinetmaker had a strong influence, including Temple Newsam and Harewood House.

Chippendale, perhaps the country’s first interior designer when he penned the famed The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director in 1754, was born in Otley in June 2018 – his christening is recorded in the annals of the Parish Church on June 5 of the same year. While his fame came after leaving Otley for London in his early 20s, it is thought he learnt many of the skills that would serve him in his later life while working under the guise of his father, joiner John Chippendale. Some scholars suggest the pair even worked together on Farnley Hall, a stately home outside Otley that is owned by the Horton-Fawkes family.

Key Chippendale sights in and around Otley include:

All Saints Parish Church Otley – the place of his christening
• The corner of Boroughgate and Wesley Street, where the cottage he was reputedly born in once stood
• The Chippendale Tea Rooms on Bondgate, where young Thomas possibly lived with his uncle Joseph
• The Old Grammar School on Clapgate where it is thought Thomas went to school – now the Stew & Oyster pub and home to the town’s Chippendale statue

Click on the links below for more of Otley’s history