Iconic piece of Harrogate's heritage is restored to its former glory thanks to one of town's most distinguished shops
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And the restored piece of Harrogate's heritage is being displayed to the public for the first time in one of the town’s most historic shops.
Since it was originally created in Ogden of Harrogate jeweller’s workshop in 1927, the solid silver model of Harrogate’s Royal Pump Room has been hidden from view, stored as part of Harrogate Borough Council’s civic collection.
It had been commissioned by Captain Whitworth, who served as Harrogate Mayor between 1926-28.
An incredible figure, Charles Warwick Whitworth studied law and lived in Harrogate.
He became a territorial captain in the West Yorkshire Regiment fifth battalion in 1902, suffering minor wounds in the First World War in Belgium.
Charles inherited the Boroughbridge Brewery on the death of his father, and lived for some time at Park Place on the edge of the stray overlooking Christchurch.
Totally dedicated to public service, he became Mayor of Harrogate and served a three-year term between 1926 and 1928.
He chaired many organisations including the Harrogate Hospital, the Ripon Divisional Conservative Association and the Yorkshire Home for the Disabled.
The iconic piece came to light after a chance encounter between the great, grandson of Captain Whitworth, Ben Whitworth, and Lynne Mee, a former Mayor’s secretary for Harrogate Borough Council with a passion for preserving the civic collection.
Lynne Mee said: “As one of the volunteers marking last year’s centenary of Harrogate’s War Memorial, I had the great pleasure of meeting Ben after the Remembrance Service.
"As part of the commemorations, we were seeking family stories and Ben spoke about the Whitworth-Ogden connection.”Ben flagged to Lynne the friendship he had discovered between Captain Whitworth and James R Ogden.
Lynne then introduced him to Robert and Ben Ogden, who had also been involved in the centennial exhibition, as their relative Walter died aged 19 in the First World War.
Lynne said: “As Mayor’s Secretary, I was responsible for the civic collection which I came to know well and to greatly care about.
"As Ben had never seen the Silver Royal Pump Room model, it struck me it could be loaned to Ogden’s for public display.
"I approached Harrogate Charter Trustees, including Charter Trust Mayor Councillor Michael Harrison, who were very supportive of the loan and I am delighted this beautiful item will be seen and admired by many more people.”
Ogden of Harrogate, whose own heritage goes back to 1893, has now loaned the piece from the civic collection for a special display, part of the jewellers 130th year celebrations, on the lead up to Valentine’s Day.
The new display was launched yesterday, Thursday, February 8.
Robert Ogden said: “This is one of the most famous artefacts to come from the Ogden workshop and has been lovingly brought back to its former glory in the workshop for our planned display.
"It also brings to light an overlooked philanthropic figure in our spa town’s history.”