Watts What

Just down the road from the GF Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey is the Grade I listed Arts & Crafts funerary chapel designed by GF’s wife Mary.

Funerary Chapel Mary Watts

A skilled artist, she wanted to encourage local people to join in her project, so held classes. The response was enthusiastic and she had to double the number classes held each week from one to two.

The end result is an extraordinary piece of architecture, perched on a small rise, surrounded by graves old and new. One of those few places that truly deserves to be called unique.

Funerary Chapel Interior

Mary Watts founded the Compton Pottery in 1900. The chapel exemplifies her Arts & Crafts leanings and has been described as part of the Celtic Revival. Continue reading “Watts What”

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A Welcome in Eltham

Yesterday I enjoyed a visit to Eltham Palace with a lovely couple from Sydney, Australia. Although the weather was grey, the palace still shone.

Eltham Palace

We walked and talked. All of us being animal lovers, May-Jongg (Jonggy) the Courtaulds’ pet lemur featured quite strongly. Bought by the couple from Harrod’s pet department in 1923, he lived with them for fifteen years. Much loved and indulged by his doting owners, he was regarded by their visitors with a certain nervousness.
Mah-Jongg

Prone to stealing olives from martinis, nipping guests’ ankles during dinner, his most outrageous action was to bite the hand of Percy Lemon at a lunch the Courtaulds gave on their yacht Virginia on the morning scheduled for the departure of the 1930-1 British Arctic Air Route Expedition. Lemon was the expedition’s wireless operator. He turned out to be allergic to the iodine used to disinfect the wound and the expedition had to be postponed for three months while he recovered. Continue reading “A Welcome in Eltham”

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