LAWRENCE Neal is thought to be the last UK craftsman of his kind.

Now, he’s handing over to two former apprentices as he retires from furniture making.

On July 1, Sam Cooper and Richard Platt will open their Marchmont Workshop to carry on the 200-year-old tradition of making rush-seated ladderback chairs at historic Marchmont House, near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders.

The new enterprise, which comes as Neal ends work in Warwickshire, will produce new items in designs handed down from luminaries of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement.

The apprenticeships and workshop were set up by Hugo Burge (pictured), Marchmont’s director.