Oral History Interviews – Tony Lumb

We continue with our Oral History Interviews – the latest dealer to be in the spotlight is Tony Lumb, 3rd generation antiques dealer of the firm Charles Lumb & Sons, of Harrogate.

Tony Lumb (Dec 2014)

Tony Lumb (Dec 2014)

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Mary Lumb, with Tony Lumb, 2014

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James Lomax and Tony Lumb. 2014

For this interview Tony was also joined by his wife Mary Lumb who worked with Tony at their antique shop in Harrogate. We also had excellent help for the interview by James Lomax, curator emeritus, Temple Newsam House, Leeds, who acted as 2nd interviewer.  James posed some great questions and also had fascinating memories of the relationships between Temple Newsam House museum and the antique trade.

During the interview Tony recalled the history of the firm of Charles Lumb & Sons, from the early beginnings of his grandfather, Charles Lumb, who established the business in Harrogate in 1907, to when his father (Frank Lumb) and his uncle (Reg Lumb) joined the business before WWII, and when Tony first joined the business in 1956, aged just 20. We learnt that Tony’s grandfather trained as a cabinetmaker in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, and started a furniture making and restoration business in Harrogate in 1907, in a workshop in what is now Montpellier Mews, before opening an antique shop at 34 Montpellier Parade in 1947 – the firm expanded into further premises in Montpellier Parade in the 1960s and remained in Harrogate for the whole history of the firm.

The interview provided fascinating insights into the history of Charles Lumb & Sons, the changing practices of the antique trade, and Tony’s memories of other antique dealers, and the long list of international clients, collectors and museums that the firm supplied. Charles Lumb & Sons eventually closed their Harrogate business in 2012 – after over 100 years of trading in Harrogate – and as Tony said – ‘in 100 years, they moved 100 yards’! – they must have enjoyed Yorkshire!

As with the other oral history interviews, once we get around to editing and etc., the interview with Tony, Mary and James, will be made available via the project websites, sometime during early 2015.

Mark

 

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