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Rare piece of social history returned to Welbeck Abbey

A rare piece of social history has been returned to Welbeck Abbey thanks to St Luke’s.

The 1914 formal invitation to the Tenants’ Ball at the Duke of Portland’s Nottinghamshire stately home was discovered during a routine house clearance by Chris Quinlan, St Luke's Retail Area Manager.

Chris and her team perform house clearances throughout the city, with many items going straight to our chain of charity shops.

As part of the clearance process, they go through every item and piece of paperwork and that is how Chris came across the invitation, a special commemorative medal and some snapshots of a 1923 visit by the Prince of Wales, all of which have now been donated to the estate’s archive.

“We still don’t know what the link is between the house we were clearing and Welbeck but we were delighted to be able to return the items to their proper home,” said Chris, who presented the items to the estate’s Development Director Robert Mayo.

“This is a lovely thing for us to have,” said Robert. “It is another piece in the jigsaw of the estate’s story and a fascinating insight into the social history of a great country estate in the Victorian and Edwardian period.

“It demonstrates the high regard and esteem that the Duke and his family had for their many employees that they organised this celebration, marking their son Lord Titchfield’s coming of age, for their tenants.”

Do you have any items you could donate to us? Visit our list of shops to find your nearest donation point, or if you have items of furniture or larger donations, complete our donation collection enquiry form.