Monday, 20 September 2021

Pub’s celebrity auction raises £6,900 for hospice charity

A BENT spoon given to Uri Geller by Michael Jackson was snapped up by the organiser of a charity auction.

A BENT spoon given to Uri Geller by Michael Jackson was snapped up by the organiser of a charity auction. Hazel Lucas, who runs the Flowing Spring in Playhatch, bid £500 for the memento as she is a fan of the late pop singer. Mrs Lucas and her husband Nick Willson, who are the pub’s landlords, hosted the fund-raising sale on Saturday night.

It raised £6,900 for Thames Hospice, which is based in Windsor. There were more than 70 lots, some of which were donated by local celebrities.

Jackson gave the spoon to his illusionist friend when Geller renewed his wedding vows at his house in Sonning in 2001. Geller wrote on it: “7 March 2001 M.J. gave me this spoon. Uri Geller.”

Mrs Lucas, whose late aunt June Green helped set up the hospice in the Eighties, plans to have it valued by specialists and hopes to find a fan who will part with more for it. Mr Willson said: “Hazel is very proud to have it and is enjoying it while she can. However, the purpose of the evening was always to raise as much money for the charity as possible. We think it is worth a lot more and believe it’s worth trying other channels to raise the kind of money it deserves, If we can’t do that, she’ll be happy to keep it.”

Among the lots was an hour’s helicopter ride for three with pilot John Woodbridge, who lives in Playhatch. This was won by Peter Rixon, of Peppard Road, Caversham, with a bid of £600, the highest of the evening.

Two cartoons by Henley artist Martin Newman went for £120 each. One, depicting former Henley MP Boris Johnson boxing with London mayoral rival Ken Livingstone, was bought by Mrs Green’s husband Roland.

A piece of red carpet from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011 sold for £100.

The lots sold for a combined sum of £4,492, each going for between £50 and £100 on average. The final total was boosted by a raffle, plant sale and the sales of food and drink.

Mr Willson said: “We’re chalking it up as a success. For the effort we put in, we are very pleased with the return.”

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