The Fred Gardiner Gallery

Fred Gardiner (1890 - 1963)

A Cotswold School set of six oak lattice back dining chairs by Fred Gardiner

His apprenticeship was served at Daneway and he worked with Malcolm Powell from Lyday Close, who gave Fred lots of his tools.

During his seven-year apprenticeship with Gimson Fred’s pay started at 1s 6d per week and rose to 15s in the sixth year.

During the First World War Fred went to Ipswich to work on aircraft construction. In the Second World War, however, he went to Tylers of Thrupp. Between the wars Fred moved to Peter Waals' workshop in Chalford when Gimson died and after five years there he began to work from his own workshop at home in Oakridge.

Fred Gardiner (1890 - 1963)

A Cotswold School walnut bedroom cabinet by Fred Gardiner



 The workshop was originally built as a place to do odd jobs in the evening and at weekends while he was employed by Gimson and then Waals, but after the Second World War it became his base for making furniture in the Gimson style.

From 1947 he worked as an inde¬pendent craftsman with his son Philip. They worked in walnut and English oak primarily, having a close relationship with the Workman family who owned Ryeford Sawmills and supplied their timber requirements.

Philip recalled work they undertook for many and varied clients including Princess Margaret, William Simmonds, for whose sculptures the Gardiners made the bases, Girton College, Cambridge (tables and chairs for the dining room), Paul Beard, leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Fred Gardiner (1890 - 1963)

A Cotswold School walnut bedroom cabinet by Fred Gardiner

Fred also worked for Cheltenham College, Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr Keene, the local vet and Stanley Hamp, the London architect who owned Lillyhorn House, where they made the walnut panelling in the hall and the chestnut paneling in the lounge.

Other local people remember similar pieces of furniture made for special occasions and realise now how fortunate they are to own such beautifully crafted furniture.

Sally Hornby, who lived at Iles Green recalled using money given her on her twenty-first birthday to buy a desk made by Fred. It was a scaled clown copy of her father's oak desk designed by the Barnsley brothers. Her desk was in walnut from a tree grown in Oakridge with keyholes picked out in holly. The cost then was £39.


Fred Gardiner (1890 - 1963)

A Cotswold School walnut three quarter bedstead by Fred Gardiner

Sally also recollects that Fred's first commission when he started up on his own was for four walnut chairs ordered for her by her father.

Sally also remembers that Fred had a fine voice and was for many years a member of the church choir. He took part in many entertainments and plays produced in the village too.

Fred appears in William Rothenstein's portrait of Cotswold craftsmen.

See Also : Fred Gardiner

 

The Fred Gardiner Gallery