A BOMB threat, a watercolour of Edinburgh’s skyline and crates of cookery books are among hundreds of items belonging to the late celebrity cook Clarissa Dickson Wright going under the hammer next week.
The popular chef, who died in March aged 66, rose to stardom after appearing in the BBC cookery series Two Fat Ladies which saw her ride sidecar on fellow chef Jennifer Paterson’s motorcycle, touring the country preparing feasts.
The threatening hand-written note, among 500 items due to be auctioned on Thursday, reveals the price she paid for championing the cause of hunting in the countryside.
It states: “Clarissa + Countryman YOU ARE GETTING A BOMB”, and is underlined twice.
It refers to Dickson Wright’s book tour promoting Clarissa and the Countryman, with her childhood friend and sheep farmer Sir Johnny Scott celebrating field sports.
Heather Holden-Brown, of HHB Agency, who was Dickson Wright’s agent and friend, said the note came at a time which the chef described as when “the antis” were particularly vocal.
She said: “She did a book tour and certainly at that time the ‘antis’ were being active. I think that probably she felt cross and part of her felt frightened by it. Certainly sometimes policemen kept an eye on her because of the potential danger she might be in.”
Ms Holden-Brown described her friend as “incredibly generous” and said she believed many of the lots under auction at Coleridge House in Carlisle – expected to reach more than £30,000 – would have been gifts over the years.
She said: “She had some dark times in her life but she was a jolly good writer and very kind and intelligent. Her problems were well known but she hadn’t had a drink in 27 years before she died.”
Born in London in 1947, Clarissa Dickson Wright had originally worked as a barrister and was then the youngest person to be called to the Bar at the age of 21.
However, after struggling with alcoholism, her career was cut short and she came to Edinburgh to work as a cook.
She also ran the Cooks Book Shop, in the Grassmarket, before being discovered by producer Patricia Llewellyn, who introduced her to Paterson.