Obituary: Andrew Podmore, furniture restorer

Andrew Podmore
Andrew Podmore
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Andrew Podmore, who has died at 87, was a noted York craftsman and furniture restorer who undertook commissions for the Natural History Museum, the National Trust and many private country houses.

Born in pre-war Hillsborough, Sheffield, he left Wickersley School at 15, and began an apprenticeship in the furniture department at Britten Brothers in Rotherham.

At a time of rationing, it was common for large stores to supplement their stock with renovated antique furniture, and Andrew learned his skills as a French polisher and upholsterer, before going on to complete his National service at Andover and Salisbury plain.

In 1964, now married to Anne, whom he met at Cawood Country Fair, and with a young son, he upped sticks to New Zealand on the £10 ticket scheme, returning to Yorkshire three years later with a new-born daughter.

The family settled in York, where Andrew worked for the furnisher Hunter & Smallpage. But he soon spotted a public reawakening for antique furniture and with his passion and empathy for heritage restoration, formed his own business.

Eventually he opened a retail shop on Fossgate, taking on work for the Supreme Court at Westminster and Manchester Town Hall, among many other clients.

The firm continues today at Upper Poppleton and is currently shortlisted for a National Heritage Award.

A long-time member of Minster Masonic lodge, Andrew became master of Galtres Lodge, Easingwold, and played the organ at St Saviorgate Minster lodge. He also pursued interests in sailing, motorcycles and fly fishing.

He is survived by Anne, their children and grandchildren.