The St Judes Pews

1950s Original Mahogany Pews

Fork Handle Revival always feel a great weight of responsibility when we handle historic items.  The history of a piece doesn’t have to be glorious. More history is lost than saved which is why we have a responsibility to save what ever we can. 
Our stories are based on fact and evidence of which we will always try to provide a reference. When we must, we will make an educated assumption, but we will say so!

Another beautiful example of a “Revival” piece by us.  We don’t consider it to be a full restoration because we haven't stripped it to its bones and then presented it as brand new.
Its impossible to make it “as new”, especially as its charm and attraction is its patina.

We were very lucky to be offered 3 pews as salvage from St Judes Church in Warren Avenue, Millbrook, Southampton.

St Judes Church, Southampton

Once a vibrant community church in the Millbrook area of Southampton, St Judes was considered modern in design in the 1950's.  The church was built at a time when Southampton was still in the post-war rebuild.

Southampton was heavily bombed during World War II as the docks were a big part of the global supply chain for the war effort for the British & American's.  It was also targeted because of industry that included the heart of the Spitfire design & build program.

Saved from a skip, we were able to purchase 3 pews, each at a length of 13ft (4 metres!).  The base is made of solid mahogany & is 2 complete lengths joined side by side!  We had to bravely take a saw to them to be able to get them into our vans.

The Evidence

At Fork Handle we love a Revival story, & we certainly didn't expect to find so much evidence on these pews!

On the top of one pew was a plaque showing a "dedication" date of 1958.  As a post-war build, we were interested in how they sourced the wood, as wood was in short supply.  The first panel we removed from the back had a blue sticker with the Star of David on the thick hardboard, written on it was "Supplied from Israel"!

BUT the biggest surprise was that on the same piece of board, the carpenters had signed their names! Written neatly in pencil was the following;
Oct 7 1955
R Mills 20
S Mitchell 22 Nearly
J U Dalls

The Revival

From each 13ft pew we recycle everything & we create; 1 x 4ft full pew with 2 ends; 1 x 4ft pew without ends; a table using old Singer sewing machine bases that we rescued from a barn!
We make each piece look like it has always been this way, preserving the patina!  The wood, the quality ply-boards & the mahogany seats are all lightly rubbed down, oiled to feed the wood & to bring out the true colours & grain, then we wax the wood to give a gorgeous silky, tactile finish.

General measurements;
           Seat Width; 124cm
           Seat Depth; 36cm
           Unit Depth; 50cm
           Seat Height; 44cm

If you are interested in your own piece, revived to your specific requirements, feel free to get in touch.


Would you like own your own revival piece? Click on the link below to browse our shop


revival shop