Van Gogh Statue – Reception and Unveiling

The WPAG Reception

The sculptor Anthony Padgett attended a WPAG Reception at the Chairman’s home on Friday evening 29th June 2018, attended by invited members of the WPAG Committee, Welwyn Parish Council, and other local organisations and dignitaries who had shown a close interest and support for the project to install the Van Gogh Statue in the village.

He was welcomed by Carl Storer, WPAG Chairman, who  proudly explained the vital role played by the WPAG which had led to the successful formal acceptance by the Welwyn Parish Council..

Anthony acknowledged the involvement of the WPAG Project Manager, Sandra Kyriakides in making this happen and, as a show of his thanks, he presented her with a signed copy of his book ‘A Year with Vincent Van Gogh‘.

 

The Official Unveiling

On Saturday morning, 30th June 2018, Mrs Marion Brown MBE JP, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire joined a gathering of villagers and local Borough and Parish Councillors to officially unveil the Van Gogh sculpture outside Welwyn’s Bridge Cottage Surgery in the High Street.

She was accorded a formal welcome by Councillor Bill Morris, Chairman of Welwyn Parish Council. On behalf of Welwyn residents, Cllr Morris acknowledged the great good fortune offered to the village by Anthony Padgett’s most generous donation of the Van Gogh sculpture, which is in fact the first of his busts to be displayed in England.

Anthony reminded us that Vincent Van Gogh had walked 100 miles to visit his sister, Anna, who was a teacher at Miss Applegarth’s School in Forge Lane, and pondered the thought that Vincent might have bathed his tired feet in the Mimram at the very spot where we have now erected his statue.

 

The Project Manager Reports – WPAG Secures the Return of Van Gogh to Welwyn

GENEROUS DONATION TO WELWYN VILLAGE OF A VAN GOGH BUST BY AWARD-WINNING SCULPTOR, ANTHONY PADGETT

The Offer – almost rejected.

Vincent Van Gogh’s sister Anna lived and worked in Welwyn, (Miss Applegarth’s School in Forge Lane) and her brother walked a 100-mile journey to visit her here in June 1876 and there are plaques in the village to commemorate that journey.

Copyright Anthony Padgett

In February 2018 year, sculptor, artist and author, Anthony Padgett wrote to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Councillors, and other official organisations, generously offering a cold-cast bust of Vincent Van Gogh.to match similar offers made to other areas associated with Van Gogh’s life and travels in Belgium, France and England.

But the Welwyn Invitation almost went off the rails because Mr Padgett’s email to our local Councillors went without acknowledgement or reply!

Thankfully the Chairman of the Welwyn Garden City Society, Will Davis, recognised that the historical connection was in fact with Welwyn village and, after contacting WPAG’s Project Manager Sandra Kyriakides and receiving an emphatic assurance of our interest, he immediately gave Anthony Padgett contact details for Sandra and the Welwyn Plannng & Amenity Group.

The Sculptor and his Project

During 2017, Mr Padgett  studied the legacy of Van Gogh, then created a  sculpture and 67 oil paintings to parallel and contrast Van  Gogh’s life with his own.

The key work of the project was an award winning sculpture based on a detailed analysis of all Van Gogh’s self-portraits.  Everyone has an idea of what Van Gogh looked like although all the many images of him differ.  Anthony Padgett attempts to balance many of the different elements.  The sculpture has been praised by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as “very remarkable indeed.”

Action This Day

Without delay, Sandra contacted Anthony Padgett to confirm Welwyn’s interest and subsequently set up liaison between him and Welwyn Parish Council Chairman, Bill Morris.

From then on, it has been “All Systems Go” and the official unveiling ceremony of the Van Gogh bust will take place on Saturday 30th June 2018

Welwyn is extremely fortunate to have such an appropriate sculpture to add to its many Heritage sites of public interest.

Unveiling Ceremony – Saturday 30th June 2018 – Bridge Cottage Surgery 

An unveiling ceremony is to take place in front of Bridge Cottage Surgery in Welwyn High Street  by Mrs Marion Brown MBE, JP, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire,

The ceremony commences at 1030 am followed by a Reception at the Civic Centre hosted by the Welwyn Parish Council.

Welwyn Parish Council – Press Release

Unveiling ceremony of the Van Gogh bust on Saturday 30th June 2018

 The ceremony for the unveiling of the Van Gogh sculpture by Mrs Marion Brown MBE JP Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire will take place on Saturday 30th June 2018.

 The ceremony will begin from at 10.30am at the ford area of the River Mimram in the High Street (in front of the Bridge Cottage Surgery opposite the High Street Car Park), where the Chairman of Welwyn Parish Council, Cllr Bill Morris, will say a few words, followed by the artist, Anthony Padgett.

The official ceremony will take place at 11am when Mrs Marion Brown will officially unveil the sculpture.

 Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to move to the Civic Centre in Prospect Place for refreshments and an opportunity to view up close a copy of the sculpture.

The sculpture has been donated by the artist Anthony Padgett who has made a number of cold-cast busts of Vincent Van Gogh which he has donated to areas associated with the artist life (including Belgium, France and England). In 1876 Van Gogh walked 100 miles from Ramsgate to Welwyn to visit his sister Anna who lived in the village.

 

 

Welwyn’s Listed Buildings: 9 Church Street

This is the third of a series highlighting Welwyn’s rich heritage of Listed Buildings. It is extracted from an old document found within WPAG archives which is represented as  ‘the 29th list of buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest‘,  (for Welwyn Parish within the District of Welwyn Hatfield), and ‘certified on 9th January 1989′ by the Executive County & Estates Officer of Hertfordshire County Council.

N.B. This might not be the latest such list, and should not therefore be relied upon for its accuracy. There have been amendments, and this extract is provided solely for information and interest.

Ref. 14/300   

Welwyn, Church Street (South side)

No. 9 Grade II Listed

House. C17 core, later C18 red brick casing.

Vitrified brick headers, old tile roof. Mid C17 chimney stack towards W end with conjoined square shafts and ovolo cornice. 3 x 1st floor 3-light leaded casements with metal frames in pegged oak surrounds.

Segmental-headed ground floor early C19 casement and fixed windows with glazing bars.

Half timbered E gable.

(Currently Bryan Bishop – Estate Agents)

 

Welwyn’s Listed Buildings: 29 The High Street

This is the second of a series highlighting Welwyn’s rich heritage of Listed Buildings. It is extracted from an old document found within WPAG archives which is represented as  ‘the 29th list of buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest‘,  (for Welwyn Parish within the District of Welwyn Hatfield), and ‘certified on 9th January 1989′ by the Executive County & Estates Officer of Hertfordshire County Council.

N.B. This might not be the latest such list, and should not therefore be relied upon for its accuracy. There have been amendments, and this extract is provided solely for information and interest.

Welwyn High Street (West Side) No. 29

Grade II Listed P1080703

House. Early C19 front, probably to an earlier timber framed building. Roughcast. Old tile hipped roof. 2 storeys. 3 flush sash windows in architrave surrounds. Semi-circular porch with thin wooden columns on cement piers. Mutuled cornice and door with segmental fan. 1st floor French window.

P1080706

1-window block set back on W with large chimney stack at join and 1st floor sash window. Street front with modern shop window.

 

 

Usage:

Currently Old Welwyn Florist.

Formerly ( circa 1967) W.H. Lee & Co – Estate Agents

Welwyn’s Listed Buildings: 15 Church Street

This article is the first of a series highlighting Welwyn’s rich heritage of Listed Buildings. It is extracted from an old document found within WPAG archives which is represented as  ‘the 29th list of buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest‘,  (for Welwyn Parish within the District of Welwyn Hatfield), and ‘certified on 9th January 1989′ by the Executive County & Estates Officer of Hertfordshire County Council.

N.B. This might not be the latest such list, and should not therefore be relied upon for its accuracy. There have been amendments, and this extract is provided solely for information and interest.

Welwyn Church Street (south side) No. 15 (Formerly listed as No.15 “Wellingham Store”) Grade II Listed

Early C19 warehouse and shop. Painted red brick, low slate roof. Long Range. E side has 3 1st floor small pane ventilators and ground floor wood frame cart entrance with 20151201_115821carved angle braces; W side has 2 shop fronts both with pilaster and paterae surrounds and fascia cornices. Left hand side is 36 panes, right hand side is double fronted with deep recess to door. Upper-floor window bands with similar glazing bars.

(The photo was taken on 1st December 2015 and shows the building in its current use as a Hair Dressing Salon, and decorated with Christmas Lighting).

Formerly: circa 1967 Grocer (13/15 Church Street) W. Wellingham Ltd

Pulhamite artificial stonework – further appreciation.

Our post about the volunteer efforts to uncover the artificial Pulhamite stone in the Danesbury Fernery has raised a great deal of fresh interest. If you want to extend your knowledge and understanding of the special attributes and heritage values of Pulhamite, then we have learned that there is a Presentation this coming Saturday 3rd October 2015 to celebrate The Great Restoration of the Swiss Garden at the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, nr Biggleswade. This is an all-day Study Day to celebrate Pulhamite rockwork and its conservation, for which details, and the need for a fairly rapid online booking Form, can be found at the Shuttleworth Collection website.

Our WPAG member Francesca Weal, well known and esteemed local architect, has informed the Editor that she was involved in ‘The Great Restoration’ of the Swiss Garden at Old Warden, which is famed for its use of Pulham artificial stonework. (See Francesca’s Comment at the foot of the Fernery post!)

Danesbury Park – The Fernery – the Pulham story

The Danesbury Fernery – a brief History.

The Fernery in Danesbury Park was constructed by William John Blake’s renowned gardener Andrew Parsons in 1859-60. He incorporated Pulham artificialunnamed stone. The site is in the Motorway Field of the Local Nature Reserve, a short-walk from Danesbury House.

The Pulham Legacy website describes the Danesbury Fernery as: ‘Cave, Dropping Well, Pass for ferns and other rockplants in old chalk pit but in artificial stone’.

The Danesbury Fernery is one of Pulhams’ earliest ferneries, but it is now in a very delapidated state, as can be seen in this next photo taken in September 2015. The volunteer group, Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve, aided by the Friends of Mardley Heath, and groups of Sherrardpark Wood Wardens, have started a new project to clear the 20150910_094828site. When the Pulhamite stone has been exposed again, the landowner (Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council) will be in a position to adjudge whether or not to continue with full-blown restoration by specialist contractors, including works to make the site safe for public access once again.

The Pulham Legacy

Claude Hutching is the author of many publications about Pulhamite, and he runs the very topical Pulham Legacy website, which details the successful restoration work carried out around the country. We hope that before long, the work to restore the Danesbury Fernery will feature.

Go to the Pulham Legacy website to get details of Claud Hitching’s Presentation Diary. Claud Hitching (with Valerie Christman) regularly gives presentations about some of the experiences he encountered during his research leading up to the publication of his critically-acclaimed book, Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy. Valerie Chistman also gives the history behind the development of Pulham cement. Valerie is directly descended from the Pulham family, and is an amateur geologist and professional garden designer in her own right.  

Danesbury Park & House – A Date Line

History of Danesbury

A definitive account of the HIstory of Danesbury has been researched, and is presented by local Historian Gordon Longmead in his book: The HIstory of Danesbury, Its House and Its Lands, published by New ConceP1050955pt Publishihng in 1999 .

Gordon’s book provides a fascinating and detailed account of the peoples who lived in and around Danesbury in the pre-Roman period, long before the House was built in 1776, and chronicles its subsequent transitions of ownership and family residency, its use through two World Wars, its ultimate use as a long stay Hospital in the grounds of which Welwyn village used to hold annual Summer Fetes, to the present time when after a period of dereliction, it has been restored and converted to apartments, with Mews Houses at the rear where hospital wards used to be sited.

Date Line for St John’s Lodge/Danesbury House

The following date-line (the accuracy of which is not guaranteed) is compiled from multiple books and local historians over very many years. To learn about the history and people associated with Danesbury House, we recommend Gordon Longmead’s comprehensive book.

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