Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Pictures for Lucy Belle

Bargee by G L Wheeldon [1913-2006]
Jemma has absolutely minimal interest in this latest blog but, then, she is a dog. She cares only about gravy bones, gentle and frequent walkies and having her velvety ears rubbed. Quite a shallow creature really. However, in the run up to Christmas. on her behalf, we are getting together some personalia to take down to Lucy Belle. Having discarded some of the taste of the previous owner -plates of the Titantic included - it is clear that she might need one or two pictures. Having loved all things narrow boat for some years now, I looked around the house. I have a precious pencil drawing done my artistic mother entitled 'Head of a Bargee' which helped secure her a full time scholarship to the Burton on Trent Art school. Being the eldest of a large, poor, single parent family she had to go out to work and never made it to Art School. She treasured this drawing that might have offered her a different future. When she died in 2006, I made sure that I kept it safe and we have scanned it for framing for Lucy Belle.  It is dated 1925 and signed by her young self as 'G. Lewsley'. No idea who the man in the picture is but she was only 13 when she drew this so it is quite special. I wonder if she hung about the then busy Horninglow Basin, quite near to where she grew up, and sketched this man. It always struck me that his face was both wise and kind. 

The only other picture that I could find is an antique etching of a working barge. For some reason, I bought this for Stu's birthday many years ago. It is his birthday today and it made me think of this print. 
Barge on Trent near Wychnor
We have had it displayed in two different houses, in Staffordshire and now Derbyshire, for about twenty years.  It is an etching by Arthur Willmore [1818-1888] of an original drawing by Henry Warren [1794-1879]. These artists must have worked closely together as Warren has named the barge in the picture "Warren Wilmore & Co." The location is a stretch of the Trent near Wychnor (between Barton and Alrewas). I can remember walking the tow path after I bought it  and it looking much the same. It's a fine print and will also fit nicely with Lucy Belle. 

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