VENTURING OUT – LOOKING FOR TURNER FOUND ZOFFANY

19 August, 2020

As the rules relax we are all venturing out a little, perhaps visits to family or favourite places.  Yesterday a trip to test how busy the transport system was and how a large gallery was coping with the rules proved to be a pleasant surprise.  A couple of buses, mainly the 11; which were only allowed to carry 30 passengers and thus we were very well spaced, took us to Trafalgar Square.  Again this tourist hot spot was hardly busy.  A free timed slot at the National Gallery gave us access to one of three routes through the standing exhibitions.  We chose route C for its Turners but were delighted to see them juxtaposed with Constables and many others – largely landscapes.  West London can claim Turner as one of its own and some members may have visited his home at Twickenham now newly restored and re-opened under COVID restrictions but with a small exhibition of his oil sketches see details.  It was a great visit but the first surprise was seeing Johan Zoffany’s painting of “The Sharp Family” on their barge Apollo at Fulham. Photography was allowed but this picture is on loan from a private collection so a rare treat that gives a feel for the area and the times. Granville Sharp was a respected resident of Fulham who helped found the colony of Sierra Leone and used his position to campaign for the abolition of slavery.  The second surprise was to see a Canaletto of the Rotunda at Ranelagh Gardens. Noticing the Ranelagh connection and delved a little deeper as had never heard of the Rotunda, which was demolished in 1805.

So well worth a visit to the National and to Turner’s House.  We even managed a snack lunch at the National’s cafe.

Talking of re-opening the London Metropolitan Archive will re-open with restrictions from 7 September details on their website. Likewise the V&A is open and the British Museum is re-opening too. So do venture forth and take in some more History and perhaps lunch. Let us all know if you find any historical gems.

II – POSTSCRIPT

For those wishing to find out more about Granville Sharp there is this entry on Historic England’s website and of course Wikipedia.

See Vernon Burgess’ comment below.


JULY MISCELLANY

23 July, 2020

Apologies for not keeping up the regular flow of posts.  Here are a few items of interest to keep you going. Also I will do answers to the June quiz and try to develop a new one, but all in good time.

Those of us who visited Brompton Cemetery on a guided tour or those who regularly use it for exercise or a traffic free short cut will be interested to peruse the Royal Parks website as Brompton is the only nationalised cemetery, as we learnt, and now managed by them. A lengthy list of past celebrities with a page about them, try Reginald Warneford VC, Adelaide Nielson, Augustus Mears and Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. A further link gives details of the Cemetery in Film and the extensive Conservation Project.  For those that haven’t yet visited there is also a recent video of a walk in Brompton Cemetery on YouTube. Thanks to Vernon for the links.

We all know of Fulham Palace and some of its history Maya spotted this gem in Spitalfields Life  now featuring in the LBHF Libraries blog.  It is a charming photo-essay of a visit to the palace.  A delight to gardeners too.

Despite most of us being able to get out now there is still a little time for reading; my latest find is The AtoZ of History of

AtoZ History of London

The AtoZ History of London

London ISBN 9780008351762.  Not a deep history as it covers so much ground but it takes themes and follows them through maps.  Fascinating although the white print on a scarlet ground on one or two pages is hard for older eyes it is nevertheless a good read to dip in and out of.


EMERY WALKER TRUST

8 July, 2020

No apologies for returning to a jewel in Hammersmith’s history.

Emery Walker’s House has launched a series of online talks and tours to keep people in touch with the Arts and Crafts home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace.

Stunning photo courtesy of Emery Walker Trust

Hammersmith Terrace from river

What a stunning photograph! Courtesy of the Trust. Here are the dates and subjects.

The Doves Press

July 9th at 3pm

The Doves Press was the most influential twentieth century typeface to emerge from the Arts and Crafts movement.  Yet the two friends who created it fell out spectacularly.  This talk will tell the story of the creation of the Press, its loss and eventual recovery.

Past Residents of Hammersmith Terrace

July 30th at 3pm

Hammersmith Terrace is a Georgian terrace of seventeen houses which boasts three blue plaques. But that barely scratches the surface of its notable residents. Meet eleven more extraordinary people who lived here.

In Search of Emery Walker with Simon Loxley September 19th at 3pm

Author and graphic designer Simon Loxley discusses his latest book Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion. Simon will paint a picture of Walker, his work and his world, a man who professionally and socially seemed to ‘know everyone’. He will re-examine what has been written about him, and include his research of archive material, much of which came from Walker’s home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, where he lived from 1903 to 1933.

 Book your places here emerywalker.org.uk/copy-of-events.

Emery Walker’s House has been closed since March, so their usual visitor numbers and income from tickets and giftshop purchases for this period have plummeted from 90% bookings to zero. The Trust has made available a virtual and guided tours of the house and riverside garden on their website. Emerywalker.org.uk also has a wealth of information on the house and the people who lived there, and an online shop selling embroidery kits, handmade gift cards and other items so do drop in for a virtual visit during closure.

The tours are free, and the interactive talks are via Zoom by donation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TWO STORIES OF HOUSE HISTORY

7 July, 2020

The first by kind permission of the Fulham Society.

AN ARTIST’S STUDIO HOUSE – 8 AVONMORE ROAD, W14

“You haven’t got an otter, then?” This surprising question came from the gasman who had come to fix the antiquated Ascot water heater in the studio flat I had just acquired in 1965. Further conversation revealed that a previous tenant had been Gavin Maxwell, the famous author of Ring of Bright Water. He had lived there from 1949-57 with his otter Mijbyl, feeding him live eels from Harrods in the shower tray of the primitive bathroom! I later learned from Douglas Botting’s biography of Maxwell that Princess Margaret had visited, and been entertained to tea and Scottish ballads in the studio. This was not the only royal connection with the house as it turned out.

At the time I bought the house, it was divided into five one-room apartments, which were all in a very poor state of repair. It seems that a Doodlebug had razed the entire west side of the street opposite no. 8 in 1944. The damage to the house with its huge studio windows must have been devastating. Work started immediately to upgrade the accommodation – the first of many alterations to the internal layout over the next twenty years. However it was not until we decided to sell the house a couple of years ago, that I had time to investigate something of its previous history.

My interest was sparked, soon after I moved in, by a chance meeting with an old man in the street. He told me that he was ninety years old, and he could remember that when he was a lad there were three fields of cows at the end of the road where the trading estate now stands. It seemed incredible that one person’s life could have spanned such a transformation – from fields of cows to the Cromwell Rd extension! Yet when I found the 1869 Ordnance Survey map, there are the three fields clearly marked, and no trace of Avonmore Road, which came into being ten years later. Leigh Court, the block of flats now at no 6, stands on the site of a large dairy where milk from the local farms was brought in churns on horse-drawn drays. My informant told me he used to be sent with a jug to fetch a pint of milk for his family.

The house dates from about 1880, and one of the earliest tenants was the artist William Lockhart (d.1900), who was in residence in 1891 according to the census. He was commissioned by Queen Victoria to paint her Jubilee celebrations, and the picture hangs in Windsor Castle. By 1895, another artist, Edward Fellowes Prynne, who also had the distinction of being presented to Her Majesty in 1900, appears on the Voter’s Register at no 8. They had some famous neighbours too, Sir Edward Elgar at no 51, Sir Compton McKenzie (no 54) and the sculptor H. R. Pinkes in the studio at no 22 where, until 2002, Ken Armitage lived and worked. Also, across the fields towards North End Road, The Grange was the home of Sir Edward Burne-Jones. My old informant also recalled seeing some of his large canvases being manhandled through a vertical slit in the studio wall, such as you can still see at Leighton House. Martin Chaffer.

Fulham Society Newsletter 72, June 2005.

The second more prosaic and recent. I wrote versions for the LBHF Library blog and for the Fulham Society and a talk at FHHS. Curious as to how a 60s block should be nestled amongst the Victorian Terraces of Fulham we searched the London Metropolitan Archives and our local LBHF archive to reveal the story. See this link.

Perhaps you can research the history of your home – noble or humble – or the people who have lived there when the archives open again or through their access to Ancestry online (see libraries website). Happy hunting.


A FLORAL DIVERSION

18 June, 2020

We are all a little freer now after the easing of restrictions and are able to get out and about more.  We were grateful to be able to book up and visit Kew Gardens, not much of a history link other than the ties to some of the West London Nurserymen and some structures from the Japanese Exhibition, but it was good to walk in some pleasant open space and see the outside of the Palace and other buildings. 

Maya Donelan has provided the following link about Emery Walker’s Emery Walkers Gardengarden. Many of you will be familiar with the inside of the house and its contents and may even have wandered in the garden down to the river bank as we did on the Society’s visit but few will have picked up this wealth of information. Emery Walker’s Garden. We should acknowledge this comes from the London Gardens Trust Blog which you can explore on a rainy day.

Surprised to come across what appears to be Fulham Palace as the centrepiece of a map of gardens in London. Excuse the advert but it may be of interest to the many FP volunteers as well as gardeners.

A London Floral by Natasha Goodfellow (Finch Publishing)

Finally even more off-piste but maintaining the theme – Derek Jarman’s Book published by the Garden Museum brings a different perspective to gardening and his view of the world from his last home on the beach at Dungeness.

ISBN 9781527259164

Back to local history in the next post I promise, stay safe.


JUNE QUIZ, MORE READING AND WALKING

6 June, 2020

We are all able to get out a bit now but still mainly at home so how about another Quiz?  Something to read? Or perhaps a Walk?

First up Here is the Quiz.

Foreshore Recording and Observations Group

FROG

For the reading you might try a Thames theme.  We’ve had a couple of talks from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)’s Nathalie Cohen and Eliott Wragg about their work on the Thames foreshore and the work of the splendidly named FROG (Foreshore  Recording and Observation Group) indeed a couple of our members have given updates on the work.  MOLA produced a book written by Natalie and Eliott – The River’s Tale   ISBN 9781907586453.

I have just started reading an independent mudlarker’s account which is also fascinating and almost immediately relates the fate of the Dove type (thrown from Hammersmith Bridge!). – Mudlarking – Lost and Found on The River Thames by Lara Maiklem ISBN9781408889237.

You might like to build up a thirst by checking out London’s Riverside Pubs by Tim Hampson ISBN9781847735027 which could lead to walks!  Especially when they re-open.

For those interested in post war buildings try John Gringrod’s Concretopia ISBN9781906964900 a catalogue of triumphs and failures in this unloved but practical material (even the Roman’s used it!)

A crime novel linked to the histoic bombing of St Pauls The Blue Last by Martha Grimes ISBN9780747268420 or 0747268428 will keep you gripped.

  

And finally to walks. LBHF has catalogued a number of short walks with a set of downloadable guides here. Some cover ground trod on our outings but there are plenty so should last the lockdown.  thanks to Vernon Burgess for the link.

If you cannot get out then you may like to delve into the William Morris Society’s online exhibition a short video and a trail through the exhibits.

 

 

 

 


FULHAM POTTERY

3 June, 2020

For those, like our Contact Us enquirers Dr Giz Mariner, Norman Lippitt, David Drew and Peter Dazeley, who are interested in Fulham Pottery then the LBHF Archives have a wealth of information. Specifically:

1869-1969: ledgers, day, cash, letter, time, wages, sales, stock and despatch books, misc corresp, price lists, copies of plans
Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre
DD/255,DD/261,DD/336,DD/340,DD/379,DD/448
NRA 16821 Fulham Pottery
and
1901-1978: corresp, ledgers, wills and catalogues
Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre
A2006/18

There is the Fulham & Hammersmith Historical Society Archaeological Section (Occassional Paper 1)  published in 1974. The Fulham Pottery, a preliminary account by V.R.Christophers, D.C. Haselgrove and O.H.J. Pearcey, also in the archive.

 

Also the following book may be of use if you can obtain it:

The Journal of Ceramic History number 11 John Dwight’s pottery 1672 to 1978 a collection of documentary sources published Stoke-on-Trent Museum 1979 edited by Dennis Hazelgrove and John Murray.

The following oil paintings are from the Burgess collection.

Fulham Pottery Yard
Painting by E Tudor

Burlington Road scene by Edward Masterson

Burlington Road scene of Fulham Pottery by Edward Masterson 1974

Posted here for reference as the Contact Us files are only temporary.


SIR EDWARD ELGAR

28 May, 2020

How many members are aware that Elgar lived in Fulham and that there is a London County Council ‘blue plaque’ on his former home?

Sir Edward Elgar, one of England’s greatest composers, was born at Broadheath near Worcester in 1857. His father was a piano-tuner who also ran a music shop and was organist at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church. Elgar succeeded him as organist between 1885-89.

Growing up in a musical family, Elgar won praise as a child for piano improvisations but had no formal musical training apart from violin lessons he received from a local teacher. Later he played in the orchestra at the festivals of the Three Choirs. He left school at 15 and for a while was apprenticed to a solicitor’s office but soon decided to devote his life to composing, and thereafter worked as a teacher and freelance musician.

A turning point came in 1886 when Caroline Roberts, the daughter of the late Major-General Sir Henry Gee Roberts, became one of his piano pupils in Malvern. She became his wife in 1889. They decided to set up home in London and took as their residence 51 Avonmore Road in Fulham, a backwater off the North End Road near Olympia, where their only child, Carice, was born. Here in 1890 he wrote his popular ‘Froissart’ Overture for the Worcester Festival. However, in 1891 the couple decided to leave London, where his works had not had much success. They lived in Malvern, then moved to Hereford in 1904.

His wife’s belief in his genius was a great spur to Elgar and he spent most of his time composing. By 1899 with the publication of the ‘Enigma Variations’, one of his most popular works, he was being recognised by the public as a major composer. The following year he produced what is considered his masterpiece ‘The Dream of Gerontius’, the setting of part of a poem by Cardinal Newman. Elgar drew inspiration from the culture and landscape of England, working in all the major forms of music except opera.

There now followed a period of great musical activity, his finest works were composed over a time span that lasted two decades. The most well known of the period include the Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901-07) the first being known as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’; the overture ‘Cockaigne’ (1901); Introduction and Allegro (1905); the Symphonic Study – ‘Falstaff’ (1913); the Violin Concerto (1910) the first performance of which was given by the great violinist Fritz Kreisler; the 1st and 2nd Symphonies (1908 and 1911). His other famous work, the Cello Concerto (1919), immortalised in the public mind by the performances given by the late Jacqueline du Pré, was written as a reflection on the terrible catastrophe of the First World War. Elgar said it described ‘a man’s attitude to life’. The death of Elgar’s wife the following year had such a profound effect on him that no further major work ever again flowed from his pen.

Elgar’s climb to public recognition was slow but once he was seen as one of England’s greatest composers the honours flowed in. A Knighthood in 1904; Order of Merit 1911; appointed Master of the King’s Musick 1924; KCVO 1928, Baronetcy 1931, GCVO 1933, as well as numerous honorary Doctorates and Degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, London, Yale and many others. Edward Elgar died at Worcester on 23 February, 1934, aged 76, and was buried in his wife’s grave at St. Wulstan’s Church, Little Malvern.

This article first appeared in the Fulham Society newsletter no 77 in July 2007 and we are grateful for permission to use it

This is just one of the 450 Personalities of Fulham and Hammersmith that are briefly summarised in our publication of the same name by Keith Whitehouse.