The Exchange has been decorated with an eclectic style, a mismatch of vintage furniture and once forgotten treasures. Many of the items have their own story of how they were found and ended up in the bar. Two of those items are the Grandpa Chairs. The Exchange's owner Cassie Soulsby tells us more about the chairs and why it means so much to have them in The Exchange.. 

What is the story behind the chairs?

These are our Grandpa chairs! When we furnished The Exchange 6 years ago we hunted for furniture in second hand and charity shops but also took things that family and friends were throwing out. Both of these chairs came from our parents houses on two different occasions when they were getting rid of things. It was only later on, once we had put them in The Exchange and arranged furniture a few times, that we realised that inadvertently we had put the two Grandpa chairs next to each other. The chairs had each been the favourites of both our two grandpas when they were alive.

Grandpa Bob

Grandpa Bob

Could you tell us some more about your Grandpas?

Grandpa Bob & Grandpa Jack. Both lived to 92 and although one lived in London and the other in Yorkshire, were really prominent in our lives growing up. We visited them and went away with them all the time and as a result have many fond memories of them both. 

Grandpa Bob was our dad's dad, he had been a Headmaster and was a massive sports fanatic, watching every football and cricket match on TV (my Gran had a separate TV in the kitchen for him); he was always out playing tennis and golf or going for long walks. He'd often sit in his chair watching his growing family with a quiet smile. 

Grandpa Jack was our mum's dad and had been in the Navy where he meet our grandmother whilst on leave. After just 6 weeks together, he was about to be redeployed so they got married - just days before VE day!  He later worked in retail but his huge passions were photography and cycling. He had his own darkroom and often won amateur photographer competitions. We still have loads of his photos in our homes. Ones that are particularly beautiful are the ones taken when our mum was just a child. Jack was a passionate follower of the Tour de France; he'd spend every weekend out on his bike cycling the Yorkshire Moors and for his 75th birthday he spent 3 months cycling the width (the long way, 2500 miles) of Australia.

Grandpa Jack

Grandpa Jack

Who's chair is which?

The green one was Grandpa Bob's it's got a really firm straight back which he found really comfortable and also it swings out so that you can put your feet up on it. Our parents decided to get rid of it eventually because it was becoming a hazard to the fingers of the growing number of grandchildren!

The large soft one is Grandpa Jack's - really it's just too big for anyone's house (unless its your favourite!).

How long have they been in the bar?

They both came to the bar separately - Grandpa Bob's in 2011 and Grandpa Jack's in 2013.

What does it mean to have them in The Exchange?

To have them in The Exchange is such a funny coincidence particularly that they are both sat next to each other, it'll be sad when one of them eventually breaks - but for now it's just lovely.

Next time you visit The Exchange and sit on one of the Grandpa Chairs spare a thought for Grandpa Bob and Grandpa Jack. 

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