November, 2014

Alesha Dixon’s teal-tastic dress up for auction

Dulux Colour of the Year Teal – Alesha Dixon

A designer dress worn once by Strictly Come Dancing star and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, is up for auction at midday on Monday 8th December.

Its sale will raise funds for the Cumbria based Outward Bound Trust, an educational charity that helps young people.

The celebrity wore the teal coloured dress in February to launch Dulux’s ‘colour of the year’.

Donning the fabulous frock and wearing feathered make-up, the singer took part in a ballet-inspired photo and video shoot to showcase teal as the top shade of 2014.

The paint brand has been making the annual colour prediction for over a decade.

The custom-made, multi-tonal dress, with feathers, is designed by Nihil Obstat, a Spanish couture house whose clients include Julianna Moore and Spanish actress Marta Lopez.

David Brookes, head of specialist sales at Eighteen Eighteen Auctioneers who have been asked by Dulux to sell the dress, estimates its size as a 10 or 12.

A 2:51 minute long video of Alesha Dixon wearing the dress can be found here:

For more details of the auction at Junction 36 Auction Centre, Crooklands, South Cumbria and how to bid online please visit the website or call the auction room on 0845 812 1818 or 015395 66203


Attached image shows Alesha Dixon wearing the dress for a ballet inspired photo and video shoot to showcase teal as the top shade of 2014.

For further information and interview requests please contact:

Kevin Kendal at 1818 Auctioneers on 0845 812 1818 or 015395 66203 by email at


M&G Investment’s 2015 show garden designer

Jo T black and white

Returning for the sixth time in seven years to RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Jo Thompson’s is M&G Investment’s 2015 show garden designer.

Supported again by her all girl gardening team, and with plants supplied by Roger Platts, the M&G garden will be built by Scott Hadley Landscapes.

Jo’s responded to the sponsor brief for a quintessentially British space by creating a sylvan retreat with a:
• Charmingly/delightfully sturdy, two-storey oak framed building;
• Natural swimming pond, edged with water-loving plants;
• Woodland of river birches, acacias and acers;
• Opening out into a classic British garden of tumbling roses and peonies in a palette of greens, punctuated by soft pinks, lavender blues and creams.

Having produced medal winning gardens for charities, commercial and public sponsors tackling subjects as diverse as caravanning, garden squares and deadly diseases Jo is looking forward to this new challenge.

“It is an absolute honour to have been asked by M&G to design this garden” said Jo.

“They’ve supported me to respond as creatively as I can to the brief and to produce the best possible garden. I hope it will have the ‘ooh and aah’ factor. No matter how many times I do this it’s always nerve-wracking and yet terribly exciting.”

For more information about Jo’s M&G garden please contact:
Jo Thompson: 07834 196193 OR
Iman Asante, PR Manager M&G: 020 7548 2079 , 07769 645 247

About Jo Thompson
Jo Thompson is a leading UK garden designer. This year she was awarded Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and named Future Designer by the Society of Garden Designers.
Her practice, established in 2006, works on commissions in UK and overseas from its East Sussex office. The company has a large portfolio of projects for private, commercial and charitable clients.
In the last seven years Jo has designed show gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower, winning Gold medals and a Best in Show, as well as gardens for international events in Japan and Russia.

Trudi completes New York Marathon raising over £2,380 for Brathay Trust

Tracie Dewar at the finishing line of the New York Marathon

Trudi Dewar, owner of the Stan Laurel Inn in Ulverston along with husband Paul, has completed her first marathon, the New York Marathon, raising over £2,380 for local charity Brathay Trust.

Describing it as possibly the hardest and most challenging thing she has had to do in her life, 39 year old Trudi completed it in 5 hours and 39 minutes.

Battling excruciating high winds and extreme cold, Trudi says the support from locals around the route, the amazing views and the extremely well organised event made it all worthwhile. Her endeavours also meant she raised well over her fundraising target for a charity both she and her husband have supported over the years.

As Paul Dewar explains:

“We’ve a special connection to Brathay, who work tirelessly with disadvantaged and underprivileged young adults. I’ve run in their one day marathon and in their 10in10 and we’ve helped them out as volunteers and sponsors. We will supporting the 10in10 again next year. They are a great charity that does amazing things for young people.”

“Trudi who decided to mark her 40th birthday doing something meaningful trained hard for this, her first ever marathon.

“She always wanted to go to New York and to do something amazing for her 40th.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit -York.

For further information please contact Paul and Trudi on 01229 582814 or Paul 07855481553
Picture shows Trudi at the finishing line of the New York Marathon

Bootle man’s library of mountaineering books up for auction


A man from Bootle, West Cumbria, who spent his life climbing mountains and collecting mountaineering books is putting the bulk of his library up for auction on Thursday 20 November.

Eighty year old Stuart Kaye became interested in mountaineering as a teenager inspired by the Mountaineering Association’s rock climbing course leaders and by the walking holidays he enjoyed in the Lake District.

Going on to tackle hundreds of mountains, Stuart Kaye’s claim to fame was being one of a group of four climbers to receive a grant from the Everest Foundation. The £100 helped fund their expedition to Norway in 1956 and made national news.

Mr Kaye says his love of books and mountaineering has seen his collection grow, over a 50 year period, into a library of over a 1,000 tomes. His first books cost pence with subsequent ones costing shillings and eventually pounds.

Spanning over 100 years of mountaineering history, they cover biographies and autobiographies, novels and specific mountain range studies. Key titles include: a signed copy of Joe Simpson’s ‘Touching The Void’; a signed copy of Don Whillans & Alick Ormerod ‘Don Whillians Portrait of a Mountaineer’; Heinrich Harrer’s ‘The White Spider’ translated by Hugh Merrick; and Hermann Buhl’s ‘Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage’ translated by Hugh Merrick.

Eighteen Eighteen Auctioneers, who are selling the books at their J36 Rural Auction Centre saleroom in South Lakeland, expect the collection to make up to £6,000. Some titles are estimated to realise as much as £300-400 whilst others should attract more modest bids of £50-100.

Mr Kaye says it is difficult to name a favourite book but cites the ‘old classics’ as the ones he enjoys the most. His tip for those new to collecting is to always buy the best copy you can afford as quality volumes hold their value well. Whilst his wife enjoyed climbing when younger, Stuart’s children are not interested in the collection which is why he is putting it up for auction.

Born and raised in Holmfirth in Yorkshire Mr Kaye moved to Cumbria’s West Coast 43 years ago. In his early twenties he was a coal miner, following his father and grandfather into the industry. After leaving for medical reasons he went on to be an engineer and then taught.

Rob Kerr, Eighteen Eighteen Auctioneers’ antiquarian book expert, says large private collections like these rarely come onto the market.

“This amazing library represents a life time of collecting by someone with a real love of mountains and the outdoors. There are some very fine examples. It’s been a pleasure spending time with Mr Kaye and cataloguing them in readiness for the sale. We expect quite a lot of interest from UK and international buyers and some of the books may even catch the eye of people here for the Kendal Mountain Festival (20-23 November).”

For more details of the auction at Junction 36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, near Milnthorpe, Cumbria and how to bid online please visit the website or call the auction room on 0845 812 1818. The online catalogue should be available from Friday 14 November.

Also included in the sale is a selection of oil paintings and watercolours depicting various mountain scenes.


Image shows 1818 book expert Rob Kerr with six key titles from the private collection of mountaineering books up for auction on Thursday 20 November.
For further information and interview requests please contact:
Kevin Kendal, Saleroom Manager and Auctioneer on 0845 812 1818 or
Rob Kerr, Antiquarian Book Expert on 0845 812 1818