A WELL-KNOWN furniture restorer who set up a successful local business more than 50 years ago has died at the age of 87.

Andrew Podmore was a “much-loved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother,” his family said.

He established what is now called Andrew G Podmore & Son in 1968.

The furniture restoration business is based on Northminster Business Park at Upper Poppleton.

Andrew was born in Sheffield in 1932 and after leaving school started an apprenticeship in the furniture department at Britten Brothers in Rotherham.

He learned his skills as a French polisher and upholsterer, before going on to complete his National Service stationed at Andover and Salisbury Plain.

He met his wife Anne at a dance during Cawood annual fair, and they got married in 1957. They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary two years ago.

Andrew’s interest in working with wood lead him to working in boatyards in Cawood and Naburn working alongside Anne’s father Norman Hebden.

In 1964, Andrew and his family, which now included young son David, made the decision to emigrate to New Zealand. They settled in Milford, a suburb of Auckland, where Andrew continued his interest in boats working in a local yard pioneering the use of ferro cement in yacht construction.

Three years later, the family, including new-born daughter Susan, moved back to Yorkshire from New Zealand.

The family settled back in York, where Andrew worked for the high-quality furnishers Hunter & Smallpage in the soft furnishing and curtain department. He soon spotted a public re-interest in antique furniture and with his passion and empathy for heritage restoration and preservation he formed his own business Andrew G Podmore.

This was established in 1968 in Grape Lane, sharing part of a workshop with renowned York wood carver Dick Reid.

Andrew soon outgrew the space and set up his own workshops in Straker’s Passage on Fossgate, where he continued restoration work for both trade and private clients.

He and wife Anne also embarked on a career in hospitality and ran a guest house in the city for more than 10 years.

During this period of demand for quality antiques, Andrew continued to prosper, eventually opening a retail shop on Fossgate.

In 1974, the business moved to Steadman’s old pie factory a few doors down on Fossgate. Andrew was joined by his son David in 1976 as an apprentice. The business later moved to East Mount Road and now continues at Upper Poppleton.

Many notable commissions undertaken by Andrew G Podmore & Son include work for The Supreme Court in Westminster, The Natural History Museum, the National Trust, Manchester Town Hall, together with many private country houses.

Andrew was a long-time member of Minster Masonic Lodge in St Saviourgate. He played the organ at the lodge.

“He valued immensely the fraternal brotherhood and all its charitable works,” his son David said.

Andrew became master of The Forest of Galtres Lodge in Easingwold.

David added: “All through his career Andrew was supported by his wife Anne in their many adventures. His leisure interests included sailing, motorcycles, fly fishing, organ music including playing in St Marys Gate Helmsley.”

Andrew’s funeral service was held at St Mary’s Church in Gate Helmsley. He leaves Anne, David, Susan, grandchildren Becky, Holly and Harriet, great-grandchildren Jessica and Ella, and sister Jane.