Archive for the ‘Local artist or drawings’ Category

Etchmasters of Alresford

Who can tell us about working at Etchmasters of Alresford, in Prospect Road? If you have some memories of working there, let us know! Their pictures were mentioned in an earlier post, on Alresford exporters.

Many of the Etchmaster pictures are regrettably to be found regularly in the shop at the tip, not far from where they were created of course. The Alresford Museum does not want to buy these, particularly at tip prices, as one or two are enough!

Museum Donations

However, imagine my face when my aging sister-in-law proudly brought back two Etchmaster pictures from the USA, in her luggage, for me to keep, or put in the Museum! One is an imitation of the Haywain, by John Constable, where moisture has penetrated the varnish particularly in the clouds. It is actually very well drawn, and signed by J.R.Hurley. You never know this might be Liz’s Dad. There’s a number 92 on the back, but this could surely not be a date, as I thought they were produced in the 60s and 70s.

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The second one is a pub scene, which seems to represent a coach stopping at “The Marquis of Granby” public house and coach stop. This version of the Pubs of that name was part of a “Nalder & Collyers” chain – anyone know where this one was? The N&C brewery started in 1586 in the High Street in Croydon. There were pubs named like this, said to have been started by soldiers returning from the Seven Years War after serving under the Marquis (in 1762 approx) in Esher, Epsom, Sompting (Sussex), Weymouth, Wellingore (Lincs), Lincoln, Sleaford (Lincs), and Sunniside (Gateshead) to mention a few of those still active. The drawing seems to have been created by Sue Sturgess, and might even have a date shown – 1974. The coach in the picture is labelled Epsom – Box-Hill, so maybe this pub was indeed in Epsom?

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Stainless Steel Etching

Much more interesting was the last picture to emerge from her suitcases, and this was possibly a picture we bought as a present for her in the 1980s, after arriving in Alresford. The picture is of Broad Street, Alresford and labelled as such. There is no makers mark, but the artist signature is that of Bob Morris.

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With identifiable names shown of Hunters Wine Bar and Pennywise (re-cycled clothes), the picture is probably from the late 1980s. Does anyone know who produced these, and were they made in Alresford too? The picture, with no cars, is very much imaginative, since it was only on Christmas morning that there were likely to be no cars at all parked in Broad Street. Maybe that explains the apparently imaginative cobbled appearance of Broad Street and the parking areas. But it does show the scrawny trees of that time, without metal grilles.

Is Bob Morris known to anyone? The ones on Google do not look right!

Alresford Railway Station: 1940s and 50s

There are not many photos of strategic installations around WW2: it is said that taking such photos was “not the right thing to do”. But there are a few paintings. Some of these were reproduced as souvenir postcards, after the war. June Benham found two of these recently, and has provided them for us to see.

The first is from 1944, from a painting by Ian Cooper. It shows tanks preparing for unloading, to be assembled and checked prior to D-Day. Iris Crowfoot, on her HamboneJunior.com website, mentions the tanks parked on the Avenue on 4th and 5th June 1944. This was in her story “Ike and Monty came to Alresford”.

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The second postcard is from the 1950s, and rather glamorizes the smoky steam engines with shining bodywork, in the sunlit scene. But no matter. It shows Edward Terrace too, and was painted by Ken Hankin.

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Later, there were different styles of engine attending Alresford Station. Actually, my grandson and I did a 100 yard trip on the diesel engine with the unusual Thomas the Tank Engine type face, up the sidings alongside Ellingham Close, and back again!.

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Lawrence Wright, Horsas and Hansas

A story published earlier on this website describes the retirement years of Lawrence Wright, when he lived in Alresford and made extensive drawings of the buildings in the town, plus mentions some books published on architectural accessories, like stoves, fireplaces, beds and toilets!

A correspondent then highlighted his earlier publication, dealing with his knowledge of, and activities in, the Second World War, in relation to the war gliders – ie glider-borne troops delivered across the Channel into Europe, in Horsa and the Airspeed Hansa aircraft.

This is the review information found on this earlier book…..

“THE WOODEN SWORD” by Lawrence Wright, published 1967.

In 1939, at the outbreak of war, gliding ‘was not taken so seriously at the Air Ministry as to deserve even to be stopped’, in the words of Lawrence Wright, one of the dedicated band of amateur glider pilots who spent weekends before the war soaring at Dunstable Downs. Yet, by 1943, official scepticism over the strategic usefulness of gliders had largely disappeared and before the end of the fighting thousands of Allied troops and tons of equipment had been delivered to battle areas in Horsas or Hamilcars, and such historic battles as Arnhem and the Rhine crossings had been fought by glider-borne forces.

Lawrence Wright tells the inside story of the war gliders — how it all began, the men who planned and those who died, and how it ended — for the first time. lt is, he writes, ‘a very personal account of what one non-combatant Air Force officer saw of the Allied airborne forces in general and of British glider-borne forces in particular’. Written with wry humour and no false heroics this is a fascinating story – a war book with a difference.

The above Review presents a pdf copy of one of the printed versions of Lawrence Wright’s book, this one published by Elek in 1967. Copies of the book itself are available from Abe Books, and other resellers.

Lawrence Wright and his Drawings

Lawrence Wright (1906-1983) was an ‘architectural perspective artist’, who lived in Alresford in his latter years. He was elected as an Associate Member of RIBA in 1930, and they record him living at 27 West Street in the 1960s. Detailed drawings of the houses and shops of West Street and on the East side of Broad Street were drawn and signed by him, in 1965. A lot of the originals of these are held in the Alresford Museum, plus some coloured prints taken from these drawings are on display in the Community Centre, in the downstairs main hall.

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A coloured print of Broad St/East St, as on display in the Community Centre

Lawrence also wrote several text books describing the historical development of various architectural or domestic accessories. These included “Warm and Snug: The history of the bed” in 1962, “Home Fires Burning: The History of Domestic Heating and Cooking” in 1964, which included fireplaces. The description of Lawrence as Author of ‘Warm and Snug‘ was:

Born in Bristol in 1906, he is a well-known architectural painter. He has designed many exhibitions, and it was from one of these, a history of the bath, under the title ‘Clean and Decent’, that his first book evolved. Its reception encouraged him to write ‘Warm and Snug’.

His pièce de resistance was “Clean and Decent: The history of the bath and loo and of sundry habits, fashions & accessories of the toilet, principally in Great Britain, France & America”. My personal interest in such history was triggered when as a young man in an office on the Embankment in London, one of their facilities featured a classic blue and white china bowl, in a design more familiar on Victorian tureens and porcelain tableware, showing a country garden scene. His book was first published in 1960, but has been re-printed many times since then.

I have no knowledge of any buildings or houses where Lawrence was employed as the architect, but there are unsigned drawings in the Alresford Museum collection of his papers showing a design for the re-build of the house and shop at 5a Broad Street, on paper marked as from Nightingale, Page and Bennett, Chartered Surveyors, of Kingston-on-Thames. These are dated 1961: the shop next door at number 5 Broad Street at that time was quoted as Broad Street Fruiterers, and next door at #7, in Livingstone House, was A. Livingstone and Sons. The work obviously went ahead as it showed the shop layout as used until 2015 by the D.Gedye electrical business.

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Whether he was involved with Roy Robins in the design and construction of 38, 40a and 40 West Street is not certain, but it appears that he lived opposite at number 27, in a small house on the South side of West Street: RIBA say that this was his address in 1965. This is now a listed building and private residence, situated on the corner of what is named “Lawrence Wright Passage”. Certainly, from there he could have looked out across the street at these very elegant buildings and roofs, captured in his 1965 drawing below.

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The original Lawrence Wright drawing

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The coloured print in the Community Centre

What immediately becomes apparent to anyone keen on historical data, is that the Lawrence Wright 1965 pictures give a great snapshot and record of the businesses present in the town centre in 1965. Plus they also show that there were far more residential buildings, than shops or business premises: although some were presumably used as Doctor’s Surgeries and for other professional services. Some, such as #40 above (now Jaga Designs), have a business sign which cannot be read from Lawrence Wright’s front of building views. There are too many drawings in the collection to reproduce them all here, but in time they will be made available on the Alresford Museum website, museum.alresford.org.

West Street (North side)

The identifiable business premises are listed as:

  • 6 (Shown as a shop window with no markings).
  • 8 Eureka Fish Company
  • 10 Electrical supplier (there is an advert for Murphy radios in the window)
  • 12 The Bell Hotel
  • 14 Tobacconists plus Walls ice cream sales
  • 16 JS Stiles (later moving to become the Broad St. hardware and china shops)
  • 18 Lex Leathers
  • 20 Tobacconists (Note the ‘No Waiting’ sign, for vehicles, in the picture!)
  • 22 Reg Cutting , Antiques and Bric-a-Brac
  • 24 Ann Verity, Hair Stylist
  • 40a ‘Mollys’: apparently a Restaurant or Cafe
  • 42 Christian Bookshop
  • 56 Chemist (named as H.C.*****)
  • 58 Newsagent
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For 2016 we have Susie Watson Designs, Alresford Haircare, the Naked Grape and the ex-Wedding Dress shop!

West Street (South side)

  • 1  (Unidentified shop front)
  • 7  Lloyds Bank
  • 11 The Swan Hotel
  • 13 Cycle, Motorcycle and Pram services
  • 17 Post Office
  • 19-21 House’s Stores (Players cigarettes, Ariel washing powder)
  • 23 The White House Florist, Fruiterer & Greengrocer
  • 39 Southern Electricity Service
  • 43 Co-operative Food Hall (now two modern shop buildings)
  • 47 Hankins Ltd: Garage and Petrol Pumps (now the Co-op)
  • 49 Dedman’s Grocers, Tobacconist & Newsagent
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These shops look different in 2016 – Moda Rosa and Hetre!

Broad Street (East side)

  • (1 East Street) Lawrence Stationer & Tobacconist
  • 2  Horse & Groom pub
  • 4  Cubitt & West House and Land Agent
  • 6  Hobby Horse – Antiques & Bric-a-Brac
  • 12 Joseph Atkins
  • 14 Kelsall Food Markets (now Tesco)
  • 20 County Library
  • 28 Westminster Bank
  • 30 Chas Eddolls Ltd: Drapery, Clothing, Footwear & Carpets
  • 32 Tylers Wine Stores (now Pizza Express)
  • 36 Broadway Motors (John Allen) (now three modern private residences)
  • 38 (Unidentified shopfront)
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What did Joseph Atkins do? Apparently he lived at 13 Edward Terrace. Next door we have the Chinese Take-Away and the Toy Shop occupies the Cubitt & West premises!

The T-Junction and Town Hall

Other pictures of interest are an unfinished sketch of the Wessex Pharmacy, the view down East Street, and a pen and ink picture created from one of Wright’s drawings of the Barclays Bank building.

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Postscript – His earlier Career

Something I read once made me think that Lawrence Wright had strong links with the RIBA, which was reinforced by the comments made on the back cover of ‘Warm and Snug’, quoted in the above story. On the RIBA website, I found that the picture used to illustrate the design for the Lisboa Casino in Macao, dated 1966, is attributed to him as the artist, which confirms the book cover comment that he was a (very skilled) architectural painter. In the Author’s introduction to ‘Clean and Decent‘, he explains that the book arose after he was invited by Molly Montgomery, who ran the Building Exhibition at Olympia in the late 1950s, to organise a ‘Feature’ display stand at the show, on the theme of The History of the Bathroom. The book inevitably followed: but was a side-line, writing books was just an offshoot from his main works.

Nevertheless, one sentence from his intro to ‘Warm and Snug‘, which explains why his history does not cover the most recent 50 years, is of relevance to all modern historians: “There is no future in writing the history of the present before it is past”.

RIBA advise that he had a further book published in 1983: ‘Perspective in perspective’, published in London by Routledge & Kegan Paul.

(c) Nick Denbow 2016

 

Shop changes of Alresford over 30 years

There’s a lot of data available on the businesses active in the town over the past years. I did a survey of them in 1986, so thought a 2016 survey, 30 years on, would be interesting. Remarkably, there are very few of the original 1986 businesses still trading! At least under their old public facing names.

Broad Street – East side…….  1986 vs 2016

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West Street – North side…….  1986 vs 2016

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West Street – South side…….  1986 vs 2016

 

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Broad Street – West side…….  1986 vs 2016

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The Alresford Museum holds further survey data for earlier years, such as 1947, and 1965 – the latter via the drawings made by Lawrence Wright, which will feature in a future article. Meanwhile the Lawrence Wright drawings are on display in the Community Centre. Notably the Sun Hill Schools conducted regular surveys recording the names of businesses in the town, dating back to at least 1971 (See the story on AlresfordMemories titled ‘Local history, as recorded by Sun Hill School’, and published on 28 January 2016). School history projects relating to the town are eligible for financial support from the Arthur Stowell Fund, associated with the Alresford Museum, and administered by the New Alresford Town Trust.

(c) Nick Denbow 2016

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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