AS CHESTERFIELD College’s oldest student, 94 year-old silversmith Arthur Holder is a shining example that you are never too old to keep learning.
The retired estate agent has been enrolling on the college’s silversmith course for over 40 years and has accumulated over 250 exquisite pieces of work including jewellery, bowls, blades and ornaments with the finest of engravings.
He told the Derbyshire Times during a video-visit to the college yesterday, Thursday, February 7: “I feel like I have all the time in the world and I spend as much time as necessary to make these pieces as perfect as possible.”
Arthur opted to invest in antiques due to high inflation rates in 1969 and he soon developed a passion for Georgian and Victorian style silverware.
He added: “Instead of buying silverware as an investment I started to appreciate its true worth and beauty and started to buy it as a work of art.”
But Arthur, of Mansfield, took his passion a step further in 1971 after someone at a party told him how their Auntie made silverware at Chesterfield College and he immediately enrolled and has never looked back since.
The grandfather, who also served in the armed forces during World War Two, added: “I never sell anything I make - I give it away or keep it for my collection.
“The college has provided wonderful opportunities for me over the years and others should not waste any of their time and should take advantage of what is available here. My advice to those who get started is perseverance.”
Arthur, of Mansfield, has also been awarded a Chesterfield College Aspire Award for his inspirational talents.
His lecturer Mark Veevers, who runs the college silversmith course, said: “Arthur is marvellous. He makes silverware of a quality that is better than most work you find in any shops.
“He’s also very knowledgable and myself and the other students are always learning new things from him. He’s an inspirational role model.”
See our Derbyshire Times’ video link of Arthur’s reflections.