Seat-Watch

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Hold on to your seats

Published Date:

18 October 2008

By Neil Hudson

A Yorkshire-man has begun a campaign to preserve a heritage that's right under our... bottoms!

Retired teacher Mike Lindley of Thorpe, North Yorkshire, is spearheading a one-man campaign to preserve and save some of the county's more unique seats.

"In short, I want people to stand up for the seat! It all started one day when I took a picture of a view I liked which happened to have a seat in the foreground. When I got back home I remember thinking it was the seat was more interesting than the view.

"That got me thinking, because I think seats are quite important objects in our community and some of them are worth preserving.
    

"The only problem is that, because most people turn a blind eye to things like that, when people like me ring up the council, they think you're some kind of nutcase, especially when you start asking them if they have maps of all the seat locations. The thing about good seating is it can be an inspiration to the community."

Mr Lindley has catalogues dozens of unusual – and common-or-garden – seats and benches, mostly in Yorkshire, although his campaign encompasses the whole of the UK. They can be found on his website, www.seat-watch.com.
 

Mr Lindley said: "In Micklefield, near Garforth, there's a seat made from a tree trunk with a section cut out (pictured) .

"Many councils will just condemn seats when they reach a certain condition. I would like to see seats replaced and if we have a record of what they look like, especially the unique seats, we can set about making replicas."

 

He added: "Older village seating is vanishing. It's being left to slide away into a big black hole of indifference that some would call 'uneconomic repair'. Don't get me wrong, some of the modern seating designed by computers is excellent, but we're abandoning our seat heritage to the recycling skip.

 

"I'd like people to contact me to list and take pictures of seats, especially village seats. I'd like to find out about the oldest village seats and to learn of anyone with family members who used to make seats."

 

Contact Mr Lindley with details of unusual seats via email: info@seat-watch.com.

 

"I started off cataloguing unique seats, which are seats that are not run-of-the-mill. Perhaps they have a different back, or sides, or are made in a particular shape or material that's unusual.

I think it's important for the continuity of our heritage because once these seats have been removed, often they are not replaced.

"Many councils will just condemn seats when they reach a certain condition. I would like to see seats replaced and if we have a record of what they look like, especially the unique seats, we can set about making replicas."

He added: "Older village seating is vanishing. It's being left to slide away into a big black hole of indifference that some would call 'uneconomic repair'. Don't get me wrong, some of the modern seating designed by computers is excellent, but we're abandoning our seat heritage to the recycling skip.

"I'd like people to contact me to list and take pictures of seats, especially village seats. I'd like to find out about the oldest village seats and to learn of anyone with family members who used to make seats."
 

Where’s the seat with the best view in Yorkshire? Or other location?

 

At Rogerthorpe Manor, Badsworth, there is a seat made from a reclaimed medieval stone window arch. (below)

Outside the Cross Butts  Stables Restaurant, Whitby, there's a seat made entirely from horseshoes (below).

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Yorkshire Evening Post article

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Hold on to your seats - Yorkshire Evening Post