Yorkshire Oak Carvers (aka Yorkshire Critters)

The wood carvers and furniture makers of Yorkshire, who work with oak and sign almost all of their pieces with a "critter" (aka sign-mark or sign-manual). The most well known of these is Robert Thompson of Kilburn - the "Mouseman".
Acorn | Beaver | Cat | Cat and Mouse | Dolphin | Eagle | Fish | Fox | Full Fox | Gnome | Grasshopper | Hedgehog | Kingpost | Knight | Labrador | Lily Flower | Lizard | Mouse | Oakleaf | Owl | Rabbit | Seahorse | Snail | Squirrel | Swan | Tite | Tortoise | Unicorn | Viking | Woodpecker | Woodworm | Wren
This information is a work in progress compiled from several sources, with some conflicting details, so any help in correcting errors, will be appreciated, by leaving a comment
Acorn Alan Granger (retired)
formerly Acorn Industries, Brandsby, York
Beaver Colin Almack (dec): Sutton-under-Whitestone Cliffe, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
Beaver Furniture
Butterfly Andrew Conning: Tancred, Whixley, York
Butterfly Furniture
Cat (Long Necked) Chris Checkfield: Whitby (retired) (ex Gnomeman)
Cat and Mouse Lyndon Hammell, Harmby, Leyburn DL8 5PD (dec 2015) (ex Mouseman)
Dolphin Peter "Dinky" Daynes: Balk, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
Old Mill Furniture
Eagle Albert Jeffray: Sessay, Thirsk (retired) (ex Mouseman)
Fish Derek Slater, now Lizard 2
Fox Malcolm "Benny" Pipes: Carlton Husthwaite, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
Fox Furniture
Full Fox Don Craven: Oldstead, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
Gnome Tom Whittaker (dec 1991): Old Woodcarvers Cottage, Littlebeck
Other References:
Grasshopper John Minikin: (ex Mouseman)
Hedgehog Nick Hill: Brompton, North Allerton (ex Mouseman)
Kingfisher Not known - suggestions it could be Herbert Bird (York)
Kingpost Kingpost Woodwork who traded until the late 50s from Burton Leonard, near Harrogate
Knight Knight Family: Balk, Thirsk
Old Mill Furniture
Labrador Richard "Doug" Collinson: Brigg, N Lincs (retired) (ex Mouseman)
Lily Flower ?? from Brompton, North Allerton (ex Mouseman)
Lizard 1 Martin Dutton (dec) (ex Mouseman) of Huby
Lizard 2 Derek Slater (retired) (ex Acorn): Woodcarvers of Crayke
Mouse Robert Thompson: Kilburn, Thirsk (The Mouseman)
Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Ltd
Mouseman Books
Oakleaf David Langstaff (ex Mouseman) Oakleaf Furniture: Easingwold and also by Fred Suffield (while working for Sid Pollard: Bagby)
Owl Albert Harrison
Rabbit Peter Heap: Oak Rabbit Craft, Wetwang (Closed) (ex Mouseman)
Ram Terry Harrington Craftsman & Cabinet Maker, Leyburn(ex Mouseman)
Terry Harrington Craftsman & Cabinet Maker
Seahorse Shaw and Michael Riley: Hessay, York
Shaw and Riley Ltd
Snail ?? Alan Summerscales or Alan Haigh
Squirrel Wilfred Hutchinson (ex Mouseman) (dec 2013) and son Trevor: Husthwaite, Thirsk
Squirrel Woodcarvers
Swan Graham Duncalf: Bagby, Thirsk (ex Eagleman)
Graham Duncalf Furniture Maker
Tite Patrick Tite (ex Mouseman)
Patrick Tite - Fine Craft Furniture, Driffield, E.Yorks
Tortoise Bob Hunter, now Wren
Unicorn Geoff Gell: Coxwold
Coxwold Cabinet Makers
Viking Roger Howard: Fulford, York (ex Mouseman)
York Cabinet Makers
Woodpecker Stan Dodds (ex Mouseman) (dec 2012)
Main carver at Robert Thompson for many years. Specialises in pheasants and other animals. Did a Rabbit originally, until Peter Heap started.
Woodworm Nigel Dixon: Topcliffe, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
English Hardwood Furniture
Wren Robert 'Bob' Hunter: Thirlby, Thirsk (ex Mouseman)
Wren Cabinet Makers
Vendors of Yorkshire Oak (other than the firms themselves, mentioned above)
Vendors of Oak Furniture


89dd7582-f7ce-11e2-862a-000bcdcb8a73 said...

enjoy your reference to critters - re King post -please see


think that the 1940's/50's reference is accurate - not sure how it relates to the comtemporary company ....thanks, Jed LOWE

mcl said...

Thanks for the info. I have updated the entry. Arthur H

KThxsBy said...

Hello just to let you know that on ebay this sunday im selling 9 critters from my own collection and your website has been very useful, but there is one that you have missed out (butterflyman) you are very welcome to use the photo. and bid if you so wish

thanks again Thomas

Phil Banks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Banks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Banks said...

Very interesting blog. Thank you. Could I suggest you make one alteration please. Stan Dodds never used the Kingfisher and reference to him as a possibility should be changed. He did use the Rabbit and then the Woodpecker as stated. (I am related to Stan).Thanks again for the info.

mcl said...

@Phil Banks. Thank you for comments and corrected details about Kingfisher. I have updated the entry. Arthur H

Peter Woodward said...

Just wanted to make you aware about my slowly growing trade mark.
I started with a labs head but once i found out that Richard Collinson used it i changed to a dogs Paw and have called my small business Duffa Furniture. please visit www.duffafurniture.co.uk or search us on Facebook. Thank you Peter Woodward.

Duncan Armstrong said...

Dear Arthur,

I should just like to inform you that the "tortoise" was a trademark for Duncan Armstrong who worked for Colin Almack("Beaver Man")at the Beaver Lodge Workshop at Sutton-Under-Whitestone Cliff between 1974 and 1986.Bob Hunter and his son David also worked for Colin at this time.

Kind Regards

Duncan Armstrong.