THE chair that Minehead upholsterer Stuart Tudball created recently raised a total of £2,000 for Mind in Somerset, far exceeding the expectations of all concerned, writes Richard Walsh.

Tudball, who has been following the fortunes of Somerset County Cricket Club since he can remember, should have spent Sunday, April 26 watching the second day of the game against Hampshire, but because of the lockdown he decided to do something special to commemorate the occasion.

By the end of the day he had created a wing back chair that was covered with rainbow colours on one arm to honour all key workers, the other arm was blue (the colour of Mind in Somerset), and the back was covered in the Somerset CCC logo.

The chair made £795 when it was sold on eBay, in addition to which a further £1,205 came from donations from the awareness raised.

Last weekend Tudball drove to Gordano Services on the M5 to link up with a delighted Andy Nendick, the man who bought the chair.

Somerset fan Nendick was born in Taunton and brought up in Bridgwater during Somerset’s Glory Years (1979-83), moved away when he was 18 but still goes to watch the county when they are playing in London or the South East.

He said: “The chair is beautiful and a real work of art; in fact it’s almost too nice to sit in.

“I first saw the chair on the Somerset Twitter feed and at that at that time it was about £110.

“I thought what a fantastic thing it was to have and showed it to my wife, and thought I’d like it and might be prepared to pay £500.

“Then I completely forgot it and did nothing else until my wife handed me a piece of paper and it had a lot of chairs on it.

“I couldn’t see why and then she said to turn it over, and lo and behold she had gone and bought it for me.

“So it’s all down to my wife and a wonderful surprise present for me.”

Tudball said: “From the outset I was hoping that we might make £1,000, so to end up with twice that amount is just fantastic.

“I’d like to say a big thank you, firstly to Andy who bought it, but also to local friends and family who have donated to Mind in Somerset.”

Victoria Poole, from Mind in Somerset, said: “Everyone at Mind in Somerset is absolutely blown away by the incredible support shown by Stuart.

“We all thought the chair was beautiful and such a lovely meaningful idea, and we are so pleased it has gone to a good home!

“Community support is so important to us at this difficult time, and we simply couldn’t continue to deliver all our services without the backing of our local community, so thank you!”