Historic Harrogate silverware goes on display at Ogden’s
by
Feb 9, 2024
The solid silver Royal Pump Room model on display. Photo credit: Ogden of Harrogate

A historic solid silver model of Harrogate’s Royal Pump Room has gone on display in the town centre.

The model, which was created in Ogden of Harrogate jeweller’s workshop in 1927, has been hidden from view, stored as part of the council’s civic collection.

But it has returned on loan to Ogden’s shop on James Street for public display as part of the jewellers’ 130th year celebrations.

Robert Ogden, a great, great, grandson of James R Ogden, who founded Ogden of Harrogate in 1893, 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.

“It’s a rare object, of unique quality and finery and a testament to Ogden’s craftsmanship; a piece we are very proud to display and celebrate.”

The piece was commissioned by Captain Whitworth, who served as Harrogate Mayor between 1926-28.

He presented the piece to Harrogate in 1927 for use at civic occasions, such as gracing the mayor’s table during banquets.

The model, also known as the Civic Salt, is inscribed with the words: ‘Let your speech be always with grace and seasoned with salt.’

Captain Whitworth lived in Harrogate on the edge of the Stray for many years. He chaired several organisations including Harrogate Hospital, the Ripon Divisional Conservative Association and the Yorkshire Home for the Disabled. He also inherited the Boroughbridge Brewery.

He became a territorial captain in the West Yorkshire Regiment fifth battalion in 1902, suffering minor wounds in the First World War in Belgium.

Royal Pump Room model being cleaned in Ogden’s workshop. Photo credit: Ogden of Harrogate.

The 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.

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.”

Lynne then introduced him to Robert and Ben Ogden.

She added:

 “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 Cllr 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.”

The piece went on display yesterday (Thursday, February 8) at Ogden of Harrogate’s shop on James Street.


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