Tag Archives: The Arts

Eric Taylor, Leamington-born Musician and Gamelan Pioneer

Eric Robert Taylor was born in Leamington at the beginning of May 1928.   He attended Warwick School, where he distinguished himself as a musician.  He also sang in the choir at St Mary’s Church, Warwick.  In 1945, he made the pages of the Leamington Courier, – where it was announced that “Eric R Taylor has […]

Photographers of Leamington Spa: Robert L Graham (1844-1925)

Robert Leveston Graham (long thought to be his trade name, rather than his given name) was born in the East End of London in 1844, the younger of two sons born to Louisa, the unmarried daughter of Lawrence and Mary Leverston of Stepney.  When their mother married, the brothers were raised with their step-siblings in […]

George Cunnew, Bookseller, Stationer and Entrepreneur, 1822 -1898

George Cunnew was not Leamington born, but he made Leamington his home and built up a successful business here.  He came from Bethnal Green, one of the poorest parts of the East End of London in the nineteenth century. George, born in 1822, worked for a bookseller, and looking for better opportunities, moved with his […]

Edward Tracy Turnerelli 1813 -1896

Edward Tracy Turnerelli was the grandson of an Italian count. His father Peter was one of the most eminent sculptors of the age and in 1801 became Royal Sculptor in Ordinary to King George III. He carved portrait busts of many members of the Royal Family and enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. One of […]

Mrs Margaret Mary Maitland Fowler, O.B.E.

Mrs Fowler, legendary owner of Leamington’s pre-war Blue Café, was born in Derbyshire and grew up in Polesworth, where her father was Vicar of the Parish Church, and Rural Dean.  In 1906, at the age of 25, she married George Herbert Fowler, an Oxford-educated mining engineer who was managing director of Arley Colliery in nearby […]

Miranda and the Lockheed Festival Fountain

  Lockheed staff magazine ‘Precision’ dated March 1951 reported: The year is 1951 the year of Britain’s great Festival, with British craftsmanship on show to the world in two great sections – the South Bank site on the River Thames at Waterloo Bridge and the 37 acres of Pleasure Gardens at Battersea. An outstanding feature […]

Rediscovering the Toovey Family, Leamington Artists

A few years ago, my dad brought home a dusty old envelope from the Town Hall, where he works.It was about to be put in the bin, so he brought it for me to look at.  I was excited when I saw that the contents all related to one person, Richard Toovey. But who was […]

Basil James Nightingale, Hunting and Racing Artist (1864 – 1940)

Basil Nightingale was the youngest of the ten children of Elizabeth and Robert Nightingale R A, a reputed animal painter of Maldon, Essex. Nightingale is thought to have been trained by his father and worked with him on known pictures.  He certainly showed early promise: at the age of twelve he produced a copy in […]

Mary Dormer Harris, 1867 – 1936

    Mary Dormer Harris was a remarkable woman.  Multi-talented, hard-working, an enthusiastic party-giver with a great zest for life, she had a wide circle of friends young and old. She wrote and published books and plays, lectured in local history at the University of Birmingham and was Vice-President of the Workers’ Education Association and an associate of the […]