UPDATE: See the bottom of this post – the mystery appears to be solved.
I am trying to trace the location of a painting of “Church near Blackheath“, painted by Elwin Hawthorne and I was wondering if you might be able to help identify the location? His notes for the picture say:- “Vanbrugh Park from the Standard public house”. Looking at Streetview, I wonder whether there was a church on the site of what is now Blackheath High School, Senior School? Possibly the church was destroyed during the war.
Below is where I think he’s referring to on Google Street View, but the outline of the building looks different to me. Any ideas?
Alan has been sent a photograph of the scene by the artist’s son (also called Elwin Hawthorne). It is his Father’s photograph of the scene from which he painted his picture, hence the “squaring up” lines across the image.
Elwin was one of a group of artists known as the East London Group – see Alan’s website here.
With a bit of help from a “local”, Nick Sack, I think we may have identified the site of the church on Vanbrugh Park; it looks as if it is on the site of what is now the Blackheath Senior School which used to be the Church Army Chapel. I have attached two screenshots from Streetview which show the road outside the School and, in that image, you can just make out the presence of a redbrick house behind the trees on the right; in the other shot, you will see a shot of the building frontage which is extremely similar to that represented in the painting, although it now appears as if one half of what was most likely a double fronted building has disappeared, along with the church next door! It would be fascinating to find out a bit more about the history of the area; whether it was hit during the war and, if so, what effect did it have in the area? I think that what we need now is an identification of the actual church’s name and the history that goes with the area!
The streetview shots he mentions are the same as the location shown in the initial post above.
Filed under art, blackheath
Here’s a list of recommended links about the Olympic Planning meeting held tonight in Woolwich Town Hall.
UPDATE: Greenwich Council have voted to allow the equestrian events to go ahead. Ten votes for, and two against.
Up to the minute tweets from AdamBienkov and Darryl1974, pints of Guinness notwithstanding…. Conservative councillor for Eltham Nigel Fletcher also present, but not tweeting currently. Also nothing on the NOGOE twitterfeed since 2pm.
Grauniad article London Olympics row over Greenwich Park role reaches climax talking about the people and organisations involved.
Greenwich Green Party article written by Darryl1974 (rightly) criticising the appalling Greenwich Time “newspaper”.
David Starkey’s letter to The Times, as also mentioned on the NOGOE website.
My view? The Olympics in Greenwich are inevitable. It will go ahead. If a million people walking through the streets of London can’t stop the Iraq War (yes, I’m looking at you Nick Raynsford), then a few angry locals can’t stop the Olympics from knocking down some trees in the park. But I’m not suggesting that these actions are pointless. Thanks to these protests, officials will now have to treat the park and the heath with additional respect, and will have to work harder to prove the benefits to the local community than they otherwise would have.
I’m off to India for 3 weeks with work… So you are left in the very capable hands of Mrs Bugle during this time. Sorry for the lack of updates recently – been very busy planning the trip, not to mention weddings and things…
Unless we go very far off track, and across to Pakistan, then I probably won’t go as far as the rather depressing Durand Line, named after former Blackheath school-boy-resident Mortimer Durand, but you never know… Surely someone in Blackheath must have a history that isn’t steeped in colonial blood and misery?!
Anyway, any comments to the usual address will be read by Mrs Bugle for the next few weeks.
Photo from SuperClaire.com
Now here’s a real discovery… The rather wonderful building at the end of Bennett Park, named “The Blackheath Arts Club”, and adorned with a blue plaque, was home to the GPO Film Unit, as mentioned back when this blog was only a baby.
Having spent some time googling around looking for more information on the GPO Film Unit, I found many references to a 1930s black and white propaganda movie called “BBC: Voice of Britain”. It was not only produced, but also filmed around Blackheath. There’s more here about it. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever finding a copy, and had written about it in the past, when I spotted a mention of the film on Louis Barfe’s rather wonderful Cheeseford Blog.
I duly fired off an email, and heard nothing until recently, when much to my surprise, he offered to send me a copy of the film! You can watch it here.
But now comes the tricky part – I’ve watched it, and cannot see much in the way of Blackheath there…. Could these be a leafy part of Blackheath?
They don’t look very familiar to me… In fact, the only part that did look like Blackheath, was this section towards the end, which looks a lot like Bennett Park to me:
Anyway, I’ll try to upload the full video somewhere soon, and you can judge for yourselves…. I’d be really interested if you do spot anywhere within Blackheath that I’ve missed – it’s quite likely that I don’t recognise some parts, or that some of the buildings don’t exist any more.