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Help for Heroes to benefit from Queen Mother mementoes

Hungerford antiques dealer teams up with Queen Mother's former chauffeur

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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Royal collection sale for veterans

A HUNGERFORD antiques dealer plans to help the Queen Mother’s former chauffeur raise thousands for Help for Heroes with an international Royal memorabilia sale.

James Podger, who runs Great Grooms Antiques Centre, met Arthur Barty when the latter visited his Charnham Street showrooms several years ago.

The pair subsequently became friends.

Mr Barty (pictured, left with Mr Podger), formerly a member of iconic Royal Highland Regiment the Black Watch, was chauffeur to the late Queen Mother for 27 years.

In May, 2003, Mr Barty became the verger of the Royal Chapel of all Saints in Windsor Great Park.

Now retired, he has chosen to donate for sale his collection of photographs and 24 Christmas cards sent to him by the Queen Mother between 1977 and 2001.

All are personally signed and include colour images of the Queen Mother, her corgis, the royal family and scenes from royal life.

All proceeds will go to the Help for Heroes charity for wounded ex-servicemen and women – a cause close to Mr Barty’s heart.

Mr Podger said: “Arthur came into Great Grooms one day and we began talking.

“He is obviously very discreet about his Royal service but is a lovely man and a fascinating character.

“Recently I was pleased to invite him on a [Hungerford] Rotary Club trip to the Jaguar headquarters where he was delighted to be driven in Her Majesty’s favoured Jaguar VI2 1973 car.”

Now Mr Podger has offered to promote and sell the Christmas cards and photographs via his new global online sales portal, Best In Antiques, and hopes to help Mr Barty raise more than £4,000 for Help for Heroes.

To see a sample of the memorabilia collection visit www.bestinantiques.com/blog

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