Archive for December, 2014

The “Hampshire Eurofest”, and the Story of the Alresford Carnival

An article from the Hampshire Chronicle of 17th July 1992 gave the following report on the “Hampshire Eurofest 1992”, an Alresford event that celebrated the entry of the UK into the EEC, otherwise known as the Common Market:

“Alresford’s historic Broad Street took on a continental air on Sunday as residents turned out in their hundreds to join in the fun of the town’s Eurofest.

Café tables lined the street, residents and visitors alike enjoying lunch or liquid refreshments whilst listening to music.

Local organizations, under the banner of the Chamber of Trade, had joined together to put on a day of fun for everyone to celebrate entry into the single European community.

Festivities began at noon, as the Eurofest was opened by BBC South Today and Radio Solent presenter Sally Taylor, together with colleague Mark Longhurst, who sent up a shower of balloons. Nick Kingsford and Alistair Dilley welcomed the crowds in every one of the languages of the countries of the EEC.

Chamber Chairman, Jan Robb, said the day had been made possible by the efforts of many people. She spoke of a wider European community in which Alresford, an energetic, outward-looking town, was eager to play its part.

She thanked the sponsors and praised traders and businessmen who had taken part, with special mention for Nick Kingsford, David Birmingham, Sue Gentry and Alistair Dilley, who had worked hard since January.

Euro-MP, Edward Kellet-Bowman, there to join in the fun, congratulated everyone on putting on such a good show.

Eurofest, 1992, Pound Hill

Eurofest, 1992, Pound Hill

Everyone had entered into the spirit of the event. The Swan Hotel became a Greek taverna; The Bell was offering John Bull Specials, including jellied eels and cockles and mussels, while in Broad Street, the Horse and Groom was an Old English pub with traditional roast beef.

The queue for food at a barbecue laid on in Broad Street by the Old School House Restaurant never seemed to get any shorter, whilst El Pigador’s (Alresford Pigs) offer of “Amazing Tapas” was also popular.

A “bouncy castle” was in the garden at the rear of Hunter’s, where a children’s tea party was held later in the afternoon. Alresford Twinning Association offered crepes, whilst the Rotary Club and the ladies of the Inner Wheel sold Italian ices and enticed all-comers to “be photographed in a gondola”.

Bishop’s Sutton Village Hall Committee offered Dutch fare and the New Alresford WI’s “Eurotunnel” had demonstrations of continental flower arranging, painting, lace and broomstick crochet.

Perin’s School represented Germany, with students offering a five minute German lesson, whilst the Community Association picked Denmark and offered a free draw for two air tickets to Denmark, courtesy of MaerskAir.

Sun Hill kids, 1993

Sun Hill kids, 1993

There was entertainment throughout the afternoon, with music from Winchester Brass Band, the Chris Walker Quintet and Perin’s School Band, plus Scottish dancing and country dancing from the two Sun Hill schools.

Jugglers Matthew and Dunn featured fire-eating, while the Turn on the Taps Appalachian dancers gave two displays of tap dancing.

Shop window displays featured other countries. The library had a splendid display representing Ireland: Eddolls, the United Kingdom; Portman Building Society, Greece. There were others featuring Portugal, several the UK, whilst Styles China Shop chose Denmark.

In the George Yard there was a display of ten cars from the 1920’s to 1960, put on by the Allsorts Motor Club.”

ENDS

This cutting from the Hampshire Chronicle is included alongside the set of colour photos taken on the day by Nelson Trowbridge, of South Close, Alresford. These were made into a presentation booklet about the event, created by Nelson, which was later donated to the Alresford Museum. All the photos can be seen on the website www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632786815255.

Included in this 1992 booklet was the following account of “The Story of the Alresford Carnival”, charting its origins, leading up to when the Alresford Rotary Club took over the organisation of the event in 1989:

“The Story of the Alresford Carnival

Although the Parish Council’s Recreation ground in Arlebury Park only dates back to the late 1970’s, the park lands saw the first Carnival in recent years as far back as 1953 when the town put on a celebration on June 2nd, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

Sun Hill School, 1980s

Sun Hill School, 1980s

Like many things that happen in Alresford, it was organised by a group of like-minded people who wanted the town to join together in a day of family fun, and by all accounts it was a great success. Mrs Rita Blundell of Ropley was the very first Carnival Queen, a position which she held for several years! After the first, and special, celebration, the Carnival moved to what was then known as the Whit-Monday Bank Holiday, and a procession was led from the Station Yard to that part of Arlebury Park now occupied by Mrs Mary Hide’s Caravan Club location. Celebrities sometimes opened the event, including on one occasion Julia Lockwood, the film actress.

A popular event was the Donkey Derby. One year the donkeys failed to materialise, and Miss pring, who kept a small riding school was called upon to supply suitable mounts, at very short notice. Another year, a six foot diameter leather ball was pushed along in the procession – until it ran away down West Street, causing havoc! Luckily no-one was injured, and having been rescued it was used for a game of “push-ball” in the arena. Water seems to have played a large part in the proceedings, with a large tank in which duckings, and ‘Crossing the Line’ initiations were carried out!

1984, Cub Scouts(?) in Broad Street

1984, Cub Scouts(?) and floats in Broad Street

The late Mr Geoffrey Cradduck was the “human dynamo” whose enthusiasm kept the event going for several years, but like many other events organised by a small number of people it became difficult to sustain. After the present Arlebury Park land had been purchased by the Parish Council, the Arlebury Park Association decided to revive the Carnival using the new ground for entertainment following on from the procession. They too found it difficult to organize an annual event with a shrinking committee, and invited the newly chartered Rotary Club to take it over in 1989. This year [1992] will be the fourth run by the club and we are determined that it will not meet the same fate as its predecessors.

Although it raises a considerable amount for our charity funds, the Club see the Carnival as a service to the town and surrounding villages, and hope that other organisations may wish to become involved in the organisation of the Carnival, as well as participating on the day.”

ENDS

Alresford Carnival photographs

The Alresford Museum has several sets of photographs relating to the early Alresford Carnivals: these are visible on the Museum website, www.museum.Alresford.org. These photos show the large leather football quoted above, and several water features! There is also a cine film from the 1950s, which we hope to be able to load onto the website soon.

Later Carnival pictures, including those taken by Nelson Trowbridge, are available as FlickR web-albums:

1981:        www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632678990604

1983-89: www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632549426213

1991:       www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632576372045

1992:       www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632786815255

1993:       www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632556709582

1995:       www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632560335768

If you have other pictures taken at Alresford events, like the Carnivals, why not let us copy them and show them via our stories and websites? Maybe you can also add a story to describe the photos? Please contact us via this website, or via the Museum Committee of the New Alresford Town Trustees, at clerk@towntrust.org.uk.

A.E. Wade: An artist in Alresford

“Albert Edward Wade studied at Birmingham in 1911, and was resident in London in 1917, and Dover in 1919. He was working at the Sheffield School of Art in 1921, and from there joined the staff of the Grimsby School of Art in 1924. He then became Principal of this School in 1927. As well as being an accomplished artist in oils and watercolours, he was also an excellent musician, playing the cello with great skill. He retired from the Grimsby School of Art in 1953, and moved to Alresford.”

Presumably there are many of his artworks in the Grimsby School of Art and in North East Lincolnshire. Some of these can be seen on http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/albert-edward-wade.

AE Wade aged 61

AE Wade aged 61

A photo of a self-portrait dated 1950, which states it is an image of him at age 61, and is held in this Grimsby collection, was provided by Louise Bowen, of the NE Lincolnshire Council Museum Collections department, in 2014. A drypoint image purporting to be a self portrait from 1930 was also found in his collection of dry-points, most of the rest of which dated from the 1960s.

Louise provided the description of his early life quoted above, and adds that “Examples of his woodcraft can be seen in Humberston Church (near Grimsby) in the form of the chancel screen and the pulpit. He was an authority on antiques and archaeology.”

Albert was born on 17 October 1889, in Kinver, Staffordshire, and had parents Josiah and Mary Ann (nee Newell). In the 1911 Census records he is listed as a Draughtsman with a Furniture manufacturer, then aged 21, living at 3 Marlborough Road, Smallheath, near Birmingham, with his parents (aged 54 and 60) and brothers Sydney George aged 27, and Walker Charles aged 19. All of the rest of them were employed in the family Bakery. There were two other children of Josiah and Mary alive at that time, but not living in Marlborough Road.

The move to Alresford

Albert Wade retired to Alresford in 1953: he chose Alresford “because his family had originated here” [the only record of any family connection is that his mother had been born in Farringdon, Hampshire – Ed]. Here, he made his home at Ivern, in Salisbury Road, where he lived for over 20 years: he died in 1976.

scan312 Alresford Church 1965 cardA good friendship was established with George Watson in Alresford, possibly via contact with Laurence Oxley’s shop, and George assisted Albert in printing the Christmas cards he made using a dry point technique, from the sketches reversed onto copper blocks. Later, George passed some of these blocks and prints to Roy Robins and his colleagues who were starting the Alresford Museum. Also included was a full sized painting, showing the dismantling of the water tower, on its site near the top of Jacklyn’s Lane in around 1953, which now hangs in Alresford Library.

Another possible route for the Alresford Museum collection of the Wade cards seems to have been via Mrs Mary Horner, of the Manor House, Humberston, Grimsby: possibly a relation of Albert Wade.  Mary Horner passed her set of cards to Peter Chapman, a reporter on the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. Peter Chapman felt the Alresford images would be better kept in Alresford, and passed them back to Christopher Everett in Holyborne, Alton, from where they came to the Alresford Historical and Literary Society, and then the Alresford Museum.

Biography by Peter Chapman

Peter Chapman included his assessment and biography of A E Wade, for our information. He wrote:

“When 1950 dawned, Mr AE Wade had been Principal of Grimsby School of Art for 23 years. When he retired three years later, to Alresford, from which his family originated, his tenure of office was, and has subsequently proved, a record. But he left an eradicable mark – not only on the thousands of students who had sat at his feet – but on the town to which he had come in 1923 after a spell at Birmingham School of Art.

Albert Wade was a man of many parts. He was first a devoted husband to Florence (née Hames). He was father to two daughters, Athena and Gabriel, to whom he passed many of his enthusiasms. He was a highly competent artist, in oils and watercolours, a master of the portrait, the landscape and specific studies. He was a sculptor and a highly skilled woodworker and carver. In addition to these many accomplishments he was a most useful cellist and an inveterate collector.

Self portrait in 1930

Self portrait in 1930

His knowledge of, for instance, Chinese porcelain was encyclopaedic, and he amassed a still extant collection of Egyptian items which remains in Grimsby. Mr Wade was both a man of his time and a connoisseur, and he passed on his wide range of knowledge to his pupils, many of whom owe the awakening of many interests to his passions.

At the Silver Street Art School he both instructed and entertained before making his way home to St Giles’ Avenue, Scartho. He inherited the mantle of the late Mr Jennison as mayoral portrait painter for immortality in the Town Hall, and became an associate member of the Royal Miniature Society. He also did endless ‘jobs’ for the corporation – among them designing the Borough boundary signs and numerous official brochures, and the town still has many of his paintings – several showing the aftermath of the war.”

The Christmas Cards

The Christmas cards we have, printed using the dry-point technique, date from 1958 through to 1962. Over this period the subjects change from Roman and classical images, through pictures of Alresford scenes, to sketches of the Grange at Northington. Possibly the best known of his pictures will be the town plan of Alresford, which is a relatively every-day sight for all Alresford shoppers, situated at the alleyway entrance to the Churchyard, between Barclays Bank and the Opticians, and shown here. The complete set of cards is shown in an Alresford Museum web album on FlickR (http://www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157649462020058, aka http://tinyurl.com/1972wade), but they are listed here:

scan317 Alresford plan 1969 card

AE Wade aged 61

1959: Town plan of Alresford

1960: Images of the history of Winchester

1961: Claudius Caesar AD43

1962: Between the weirs in Alresford

1963: St Swithun and his miracles

1964: [Missing!]

1965: St John’s Parish Church, Alresford

1966: Windsor Castle

1967: Bisham Church from Marlow tow path

1968: De Lucy Bridge, Alresford, C1200AD

1969: Fulling Mill, Alresford

1970: Alresford from the Southwest – titled as “The Alresford Society” (drawn 1962)

1971: Doric Portico, The Grange, Northington

1972: Ionic Portico, The Grange, Northington

1973: Ovington Mill

Dry-Point prints

In a letter to a friend dated 22 October 1959 – we can’t decipher the friend’s name – Wade explains “Drypoint” as engraved with a point (similar to an engraver’s burin) on the copper plate, and then printed – with no acid used, therefore it is a drypoint. But other descriptions of the technique highlight that it is the burr thrown up on the furrow of the line which is crucial to the final result, the angle of the dry point changing the characteristics of the burr. Lines in a drypoint print are characterised by a soft fuzziness caused by the ink delivered by the burr.

Other Wade prints in the collection

Also in the collection are two small drypoint prints, one quoted above titled as a 1930 self-portrait, and one of Alresford church tower and churchyard from the south. A few larger prints are also included, as follows:

  1. Five composers: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mozart. Feb 1970 (8” diagonal)
  2. Alresford Centre: a view of the Community Centre, Lloyds Bank and The Swan Hotel. Dated 21 May 1958. (13.5” diagonal). This is his major work in relation to Alresford, and its history. See below!

15463485643_e1d0f54d8a_k3. A larger print of the De Lucy Bridge, July 1968. (13.5” diagonal).

4. A larger print of the Fulling Mill picture, June 1958. (13.5” diagonal), as below.

scan308 Fulling Mill 1969 card

Not part of the Museum collection, but nevertheless available for public viewing in St John’s Church, is another Wade painting. This is the Royal Coat-of-Arms, positioned above the West door inside the Church, as shown below.

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Original copper plates

Some of the original plates used to print the images on the Christmas cards have been passed on, and are in the Museum. The 1960 Winchester history plate was still wrapped in a newspaper dated 1960. In better condition are the plates for the De Lucy Bridge, the Fulling Mill, Alresford Churchyard and “Between the weirs”: plates are also present showing a portrait of Dr Meryon, and part of the Buttercross in Winchester. A 1968 newspaper protects another picture plate of Alresford Church, as viewed from Broad Street.

The Albert Wade local pictures, drawings and the drypoint technique would qualify for support funding, as a local school history project, by the Arthur Stowell Fund. For further information please contact the New Alresford Town Trust on clerk@towntrust.org.uk

Postscript:

Most of the original Wade prints, made directly from the copper, were produced in the basement at Oxley’s shop by George Watson, who worked there before starting his own picture framing and furniture repair business with his wife Beryl. Recently, ie in 2015, Oxley’s have made available for sale some hand coloured A4 sized versions of Wade’s town plan, originally drawn in 1959: but these are certainly modern paintings, possibly painted on modern prints of the image. Nevertheless they are a tribute to Wade and the images he produced. The photograph below is an image of one of these 2015 prints: it is deliberately taken as is, in situ.

DSCN1692

A childhood in 1940s Alresford

John Fisher writes:

I was born at Redlands, a house in Grange Road in September 1942, and lived in Alresford until 1950. The day we moved was the worst day of my life, I lost all my friends in the process: my memories of Alresford are limited. My mother was a teacher at Perins school until we moved, and father was a beat policeman after the end of the war. There was a nursery by the railway line where Grange Road met the Cheriton road (run by Mr Fairhead and then Mr Wells). A lot of my time was spent there, couldn’t do a lot, but at that age, I do remember it so well. My other hobby was the Winchester to Alton train line. I was always down at the station, and I remember the staff were very friendly.

I went to the Dean School where my Auntie was the head-mistress: I also remember the flaming cold loos. At the old Gas works further down the Dean I got chased off because it was dangerous. In the Summertime after school all my friends and myself lived down at the swimming pool by the river, and had great fun. As a kid, I didn’t have a bike so had to walk around the area. I missed my childhood days in Alresford very much, after moving away. Although I was only seven when I left, it has surprised me how much I remember about those days, and there’s a lot more I think.

From John Fisher, now an old timer, and enjoying life to the full!

The Opening of the Watercress Line, 1977

Nelson Trowbridge, a resident of South Close in Alresford, recorded the opening of the Watercress Line, the restored rail line from Alresford to Ropley, in 1977 with a collection of photographs, some reproduced here.

8483740686_96c5e849a9_kNelson records the background as follows.

The Watercress Line was closed by British Rail in 1973. Soon after, the stretch of line from Winchester to Alresford was sold.

The length of now disused track from Bridge Road, Alresford to New Farm Road was offered to residents in South Close, those whose gardens linked with the cutting, but not one section was bought!8483720544_cd47115f84_k

After restoration, the Alresford to Alton line was re-opened to the public on Saturday 30th April 1977. The first run was from Alresford to Ropley, and back (3 miles each way), hauled by the locomotive Azalar Line, (either 31874 or 46229, maybe someone can tell us) and driven by its owner John Bunch.

Crowds of people flocked to watch at the stations, on bridges and from fields beside the line. In the station car park the Fire Service added interest with an appliance driven by heavy horses.8482674343_8a902cf2f9_z

After the return journey, visiting dignitaries made speeches and then newspaper reporters and TV crews relaxed with beer and sandwiches in a buffet car, in a siding at Alresford.

The original photo collection is held by the Alresford Museum, and can be seen on-line at http://www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/sets/72157632787693809/

These include some scenes from the track and engine restoration work carried out at Ropley station.

If anyone can identify themselves please let us know!

 

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