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Monday, 23 May 2016

As quiet as a mouse, craftsmen help county carve a place at Chelsea

Furniture created by an iconic Yorkshire business is taking pride of place at Welcome to Yorkshire’s biggest ever garden at this week's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Sir Gary Verity carves a mouse helped by Simon Thompson Cartwright,
great great grandson of Robert Thompson.
Kilburn-based Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen have created a bench for the garden, which took four craftsmen 120 hours to make and features three of the company’s famous mice.

Made from naturally seasoned English oak, the bench features the proverb ‘Deep rivers move in silence, shallow brooks are noisy,’ taken from the headboard of Robert Thompson’s bed.

Born in 1876, Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson dedicated his life to the craft of carving English oak and, as a young man, he took over his father’s joinery business in Kilburn.

The iconic mouse emblem apparently came when his carving companion, while working on a church screen, commented that their jobs left them as ‘poor as church mice.’ He carved his first mouse there and then, and the business has since gone from strength to strength.

Simon Thompson Cartwright, Robert Thompson's great, great grandson, said: “When we were asked to help with the garden, we jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It has been a really enjoyable experience for the boys here and I am really proud to be involved.”

God’s Own County – A Garden for Yorkshire, has been inspired by the medieval Great East Window at York Minster and showcases the county’s stunning scenery, iconic heritage and skilled tradespeople.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “I am really proud of the fact that we are not only going to have the biggest garden at Chelsea this year, but that we also have some fantastic Yorkshire businesses supporting the Yorkshire garden.

“It is fantastic to have a business like this, with such a proud Yorkshire history, supporting our garden and I can’t wait to see the finished bench taking pride of place.”

The Chelsea Flower Show takes place from 24-28 May.

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