Help Ark and own a piece of Jane Austen history

On Friday, September 15, 22 Jane Austen-inspired bookbenches are being sold at auction - and 75 per cent of the proceeds will go to Ark Cancer Centre Charity, as the charity partner of the Sitting With Jane project.

This will not only leave a lasting legacy that will help and support cancer patients and their families but will mean the successful bidders own a genuine piece of Jane Austen history following the successful Sitting With Jane project, which has been running during the Summer of 2017 to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen.

Tickets to the auction cost £10, and include a welcome drink and auction catalogue.

The bookbenches are already attracting interest from local businesses looking to support Ark Cancer Centre Charity while benefiting from owning a striking and lasting dedication to Jane Austen.

In order to bid for one of the bookbenches, potential bidders must complete the online registration form before the event. The website,, will live stream the event on September 15 and an online cataloguefeaturing the 22 lots can already be viewed on the website if you cannot make it.

Merv Rees, Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee, said:

“Hopefully, each of the bookbenches will raise several thousand pounds, which will make a significant difference to Ark’s campaign to help fund the new cancer treatment centre.

“If a business wants to support Ark, leave a lasting legacy, and own a unique piece of Jane Austen 200 history, then buying a bookbench is a great way to achieve all of these goals.”

The auction, at The Ark Conference Centre, in Basingstoke is being organised by well-known fine art auctioneers and valuers Andrew Smith & Son, from Itchen Stoke, near Winchester.

Find out more about the event and register your interest early, as spaces on the day are limited.



Ark Cancer Centre Basingstoke Jane Austin Book Bench


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