Phyllis Barron & Dorothy Larcher 1930s

Estimates and specifications were proposed on 10 October 1932 for the committee’s consideration. Barron & Larcher had prepared two schemes, one exceeded £500, the other less. They proposed that the furniture was made by Cotswold craftsmen Fred Gardiner and Eric Sharpe, who worked in the Gimson and Barnsley’s tradition of good hand workmanship and personal design. The first scheme proposed by the pair, which was eventually to be realized, estimated that their curtains for each room would cost £119.9s.

Barron specified Window curtains of our hand printed linen (the largest single item in the price) would, we think, justify their cost, as the large windows in both rooms are a very important decorative feature. The Dining Room was to have three dining tables and a serving table at £15 10s each, together with 20 dining chairs of English oak with drop-in seats at £3 each.  For the Combination Room, 4 small round coffee tables at £5 each, and an oval folding table at £9 15s. Electric light fittings have been a great difficulty ….and… in rooms where neither a “Period” chandelier nor an ultra modern affair is needed.. we suggested having temporary vellum paper dish shades specially designed and made by a craftsman and decorated with pierced patterns…. We have provided for well fitting loose covers to be made for the armchairs and sofas (Combination Room). There are two or three designs made in thick, hard-wearing linen with a woven design in beige and white which would look well…We have seen some really lovely Khelim rugs in London and could have some sent to see in the rooms when the furnishing is sufficiently advanced. (j) The prices given in these schemes are trade prices. In the case of all the tables and oak dining chairs, these are special prices made in consideration of the quantity required. It is understood that we do not receive trade discounts. Therefore we propose to charge you 10% on £500. If more money had been available we should have been able to ask less. It is a more difficult and lengthy proceeding to find the right thing at a small cost .5

With three committees and so many people involved it is not suprising that there were disagreements amongst the clients. The Committee did not like the lighting proposed. They felt that the cost of the curtains was out of proportion to the rest of the furnishings and they would prefer antique furniture and curtains of a richer appearance.

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