ANOTHER piece of “furney” memorabilia has emerged. The “furney” was the North of England School Furnishing Company, formed in Darlington in the 1860s, with factories in East Mount Road, and Newcastle and Newton Aycliffe.
It made every conceivable piece of furniture that a school could require, from the desks to the blackboards.
It’s main shop was on the corner of Coniscliffe Road and Blackwellgate and, after a period as a bank, has recently been converted into a bar.
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We’ve already brought you a picture of a “furney” desk that is now in Australia, and in Memories 311 we had a “furney” clock in the Galgate Methodist church hall in Barnard Castle.
The Clamps' North of England School Furnishing Company ink well
Now comes a “furney” inkwell that Carole and Tony Clamp acquired in the 1970s when the primary school in Hurworth, built in 1829 opposite the Spar shop, was being converted into houses.
Perhaps we should explain that inkwells fitted into a special hole at the top of a “furney” desk, and a student would dip their nib into the ink to do their writing. The invention of the reservoir inkpen in the early 20th Century meant that the inkwell became obsolete, although Inkwells and slates were being jettisoned but fortunately Carole and Tony managed to save one for posterity.