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I recently loaned from our property steward, Jon Archdeacon, a number of
boxes containing the club archives. I have been researching Walter Webster
(an article appeared on Walter in the November 2014 issue of the DLN –
No 988).



In one of the boxes I came upon the Southon Desk. Charles Southon was
a founder member of the club, one of the first officials and our first Runs
Captain, a position he held from 1890 to 1893. So well did he perform the
task that in 1894 he was presented with a mahogany writing case by his

fellow members. He died on the 3 October 1947 at the age of 82.
rd

The desk remained with the Southon family until 1998 when Charles’
granddaughter, Mrs Audrey Rudolph, contacted Don White to suggest that
it be returned to the club as she was sure that is what her grandfather
would have wished. It was a coincidence that whilst having the desk at my

home, an antiques valuation day was held at the Ripley Arts Centre just
opposite to where I live and Catherine Southon, the antiques specialist who
appears regularly on the television in programmes such as Flog It and the
Antiques Roadshow, etc, was carrying out free valuations. I thought there
could possibly be a connection between Charles Southon and Catherine so
took the opportunity to take the desk to Ripley. I was expecting quite a
queue of people clutching their objets d’art waiting for one of the experts

to give them a valuation but, not so, there was just Catherine herself and
a colleague squeezed into a small office. I explained that I was not seeking
a valuation of the desk as I had seen an identical one on the Antiques
Roadshow which had been valued at £100.00; I was, however, interested in
maybe a family connection between Charles and Catherine’s own family

(Southon is quite an unusual name). She explained she had never had the

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