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The world turns in Abthorpe

Author: John Riches Published: 28th October 2019 09:05

Anna and two Dutch figurines, with the dresser her father made in 1981. Anna and two Dutch figurines, with the dresser her father made in 1981.
Hendrik ten Bruggencate was a Dutchman who, during the 1970’s and 1980’s lived with his family in a cottage opposite our pub in Silver Street. Rick as we called him used the old shoe factory next to his home as his workshop where he was very skilled at designing and making beautiful church organs.
My wife Joyce who admired Rick’s workmanship, asked him to design and make a dresser for our dining room. He duly obliged and in 1981 his dresser became part of our home where it was immediately adorned with china ware. Sadly both Rick and my wife have died and I am in the unenviable position of having to down-size into a much smaller property where there is certainly no room for Rick’s large dresser.
A couple of weeks ago I was round our pub enjoying a pint of Hooky when across the bar I noticed a lady whose features were vaguely familiar. She realised that I was looking at her somewhat quizzically, came over and introduced herself. It was Rick’s daughter Anna who was only a child in 1981 when the dresser was made. I explained my conundrum to her and asked if she would like the dresser her Dad made. “How could I refuse?” she retorted.
Anna came to look at the dresser and she was delighted. A few days later she and her husband arrived with a horsebox and after photographs and examining the carved lettering on the back that says “Made in Abthorpe 1981”  with Rick’s initials; the dresser was taken away. I have just received a thank-you note from Anna telling me that the dresser is already in their conservatory and they are delighted.
PS. Could the person who made contact a week or so ago about Canterbury, please call again? There’s a good story there.

John Riches

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