07 Mar 2021
September 28, 2015 - Filed under: Antique Chairs — Harriet

Former rugby union player Martin Johnson made a lasting impression during his visit to Downing Street when he sat in a 200 year old chair and broke it.

According to a report in the Mirror, the former lock, weighing 18st 9lb and standing at 6ft 7in, had gone to Downing Street to be part of a gala, the day before the start of the 2015 rugby tournament. He had taken the William Webb Ellis trophy along with him. The trophy was named after a man credited with the introduction of rugby football and was initially presented in 1987, and Johnson won the trophy in 2003.

The gala was held at the Foreign Office where Prime Minister David Cameron intended to welcome the rugby teams taking part in the tournament. However, during a tour of the cabinet war room, things didn’t go entirely to plan. As David Cameron gave an account of the history of Downing Street and the Foreign Office, the captain of England’s rugby team and World Cup winner decided to sit down on one of the chairs in the room, and as he sat back in it the chair broke. When Johnson asked the PM if the chair was old, Cameron reportedly replied:

“Well, decisions have been made in her for about 200 years but I’m sure we can find another chair.”

Accidents do happen, even to good quality antique settees and chairs, but it is possible to have them repaired and restored by a specialist in antique furniture restoration.

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