Lost his­toric medal cab­i­net turns up for sale on eBay

Macclesfield Express - - NEW YEAR’S HONOURS LIST - STU­ART GREER

AHISTORIC cab­i­net lost for more than 35 years has been re­turned to the town.

The carved oak medal case had been used to dis­play 70 mil­i­tary medals at West Park Mu­seum in Mac­cles­field since the 1930s.

But in the late 1970s Cheshire County Coun­cil, which ran the mu­seum, lost the cab­i­net dur­ing a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of its col­lec­tion.

It was spot­ted by chance for sale on eBay by ea­gleeyed his­tory buff Stephen Pear­son last month.

With the help from his­to­rian Dorothy Bent­leySmith, a for­mer cu­ra­tor at West Park Mu­seum, it is now on dis­play in Charles Roe House on Ch­ester­gate.

Dorothy said: “Mys­tery sur­rounds how this beau­ti­ful cab­i­net went miss­ing all those years ago and sud­denly turns up for sale on eBay. But the end re­sult is the im­por­tant thing - it has re­turned to Mac­cles­field.”

The cab­i­net con­tained a rare col­lec­tion of medals be­long­ing to Wil­liam Lin­coln White, the son of a for­mer mayor of the Mac­cles­field.

When the Sut­ton silk dyer died in 1929 the cab­i­net was given to West Park Mu­seum by his widow Sarah.

It sat in the mu­seum for almost 40 years un­til 1978 when the mu­seum was tem­po­rar­ily closed for three weeks to be re­dec­o­rated.

The col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing the cab­i­net, was taken to North­wich mu­seum to be stored, but no records were kept.

The mu­seum re­mained closed for three years and was later trans­ferred to Cheshire County Coun­cil where many items were lost

e cab­i­net was bought by Mr Pear­son for less than £100 and col­lected from a house in Leigh.

Dorothy said: “Quite how the cab­i­net got from North­wich to Leigh is any­one’s guess.

“I don’t think any­one knew it was out­side pub­lic own­er­ship un­til it turned up on eBay.

“Amaz­ingly the cab­i­net has the orig­i­nal plaque de­tail­ing Mrs White’s do­na­tion, and some of my hand­writ­ten la­bels from my time at the mu­seum.

“The cab­i­net will need some restor­ing as there is some dam­age to the case but it’s in pretty good nick and is a fan­tas­tic ex­am­ple of carv­ing from the town.

“Stephen has man­aged to pre­serve a piece of the town’s his­tory and should be con­grat­u­lated for his ser­vice to the town.”

The cab­i­net is now on dis­play at Charles Roe House along­side the Mac­cles­field School of Carv­ing col­lec­tion.

●● Stephen Pear­son and Dorothy Bent­ley-Smith with the for­mer medal cab­i­net

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