As the Summer came to an end, as did the Sitting With Jane celebrations marking the 200 year anniversary of Jane Austen’s death.


The initiative was to ‘bring Jane home’ and reclaim Jane Austen for Basingstoke – where she was born, spent many year of her life and wrote some of her most famous works. Hopefully you had a chance to visit the colourful book benches dotted around Basingstoke and further afield. ‘Sitting with Jane’ was a creative celebration of Jane Austen’s life, with the focus of the campaign being 24 individually decorated book-style benches.


Lamb Brooks sponsored one of the benches – titled ‘Promenade’, which was located in the town centre Malls outside WHSmith. The bench was designed and painted by Laura Fern, an exceptionally talented artist from Bath.


The Sitting With Jane event had a very happy ending as the Book Bench auction raised nearly £100,000 – delivering a massive boost to Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Our Lamb Brooks sponsored ‘Promenade’ bench fetched £5,500 at auction and now belongs to a very happy Basingstoke resident, taking pride of place in their home.

A Wild in Art event, delivered by Destination Basingstoke and in association with Festival Place, thousands of people enjoyed going around the Sitting With Jane public art BookBench trail between June 17 and August 30 – and the popularity of the benches, which celebrated the life of local author Jane Austen, was reflected in a very successful auction.


Twenty-two Book Bench lots were sold for a total of £95,750 – and 75 per cent of the proceeds will go to Ark Cancer Centre Charity, leaving a lasting legacy that will help and support cancer patients and their families as Ark is raising £5million towards a unique local NHS cancer treatment centre that will be built in the Basingstoke area.


Lamb Brooks were extremely proud to be a part of such a special, creative and prestigious event that really put Basingstoke on the map, celebrating our rich local heritage.

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