The Project Manager Reports – Welwyn’s Heritage Trail

The following report was drafted by Sandra Kyriakides

THE WELWYN HERITAGE TRAIL

Welwyn’s Heritage Trail was established a few years ago by the Welwyn Archaelogical Society with Lottery Funding.  Sadly, the website has not functioned for some time due to a loss of management, and lack of funding.

Through our active involvement with the Welwyn Parish Council’s Community Engagement Committee, WPAG has stepped in to manage this Project, aided by a generous donation of funds from the Welwyn Parish Plan Group. The aim is to restore this valuable guide to Welwyn’s heritage.

As a result, WPAG is currently working with volunteer local IT designers with the purpose of restoring the Welwyn Heritage Trail early in 2019.

The Danesbury Victorian Fernery and grotto

The Van Gogh Bust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The opportunity will be taken to add two more sites to Welwyn’s Heritage Trail, to inform visitors and direct them to their location.

Sandra Kyriakides – Project Manager

The Project Manager Reports – Van Gogh – a Project Update

The following report was posted by Sandra Kyriakides

VAN GOGH PROJECT

You will all be aware of the role of WPAG in bringing the Van Gogh bust to the village. (See  the earlier post)

The sculptor, Anthony Padgett, has since suggested that the places that receive one of his Van Gogh bust donations (including Welwyn) might like to form a link with one another.

We have therefore been in communication with the Municipal Council of Arles, (Van Gogh’s home town in France) who have voted to accept Anthony’s kind offer.  They have been reminded of our (Welwyn) bust and suggested they might consider forming a cultural link with Welwyn in relation to our shared interest and history with Van Gogh.

The President of the Van Gogh Association, Vincent Ramon has written confirming that they would very much like to do this.

Anthony Padgett’s latest installation of Van Gogh sculpture work was unveiled in Brixton on 17th November.   (See The Art Newspaper)

The story of the project and photos of the bust of Vincent Van Gogh was in the national press Sunday Telegraph (a big half page photo) on 25th November.  It gives some excellent publicity for the Van Gogh Walk and the sculpture – and marked the event on a national level.  Welwyn was mentioned.

WPAG will be liaising with administrators at all sites with a view to establishing a link between all of them and ourselves.

The whole project is quite exciting and there will be a Tate Britain exhibition of Van Gogh’s work in March 2019.   We are in contact with Martin Bailey, the curator, to explore the possibility of including a reference to the Welwyn connection.

 

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!)