Posthumous award for ‘kitchen Mozart’

    THE late founder of a Tunbridge Wells furniture shop was honoured in a ceremony hosted by film star Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    Kitchen-specialist Mark Wilkinson, OBE, was posthumously awarded the Walpole Honour title at the Walpole British Luxury Awards.

    His wife Cynthia received the honour on behalf of Mr Wilkinson’s family at the ceremony in The Dorchester Hotel in London.

    Alongside establishing the Mark Wilkinson Furniture store in Tunbridge Wells High Street, he co-founded Smallbone of Devizes, a leading interior designing firm.

    British luxury brands promoter Walpole was keen to pay tribute to Mr Wilkinson’s achievements at the event, during which his wife had the chance to meet Ms Zeta-Jones, who first shot to fame on TV in The Darling Buds of May, filmed in Pluckley. Award presenter and Walpole Chief Executive Helen Brocklebank said: “Mark’s work completely
    redefined what we understand by a beautifully designed kitchen.

    “He was described by one critic as the ‘Mozart of kitchen cabinet makers’ and made the kitchen the heart of the home.”

    Mr Wilkinson passed away in July this year, having been awarded an OBE for his services to the furniture industry and charity in 2010. He is survived by two children – Victoria and Gregory.