The Ringers of Launcells Tower, Frederick Smallfield (1829-1915)
Oil on canvas, English School, 1887. This painting was inspired by the poem 'The Ringers of Launcells Tower' by Rev. R.S. Hawker of Morwenstow in his book 'Cornish Ballads and Other Poems'. In this poem, the bell ringers who rang at the accession of George III in 1760 were still alive to ring at his golden jubilee in 1810. The church of Launcells is midway between Stratton and Bude. The picture was painted 77 years after George III's golden jubilee and so is a total reconstruction. There is, therefore, no possibility that the figures are actual portraits of the 1810 ringers. Nevertheless, Smallfield had visited the church tower before he started the painting but made certain alterations to the layout for artistic reasons. He also studied the bell ringers at his local church in Willesden, north west London, to get the action and the angle of the ropes correct. A watercolour version of this painting was exhibited at the Watercolour Society in 1878. Frederick Smallfield studied at the Royal Academy and subsequently exhibited there several times. He lived for most of his life in London and at Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire.
The Boy Jacka, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)
Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, 1886-1888. Full length portrait of boy against a green door. Henry Scott Tuke was born into a Quaker family in Lawrence Street, York. In 1859 the family moved to Falmouth, where his father Daniel Tuke , a physician, established a practice. Tuke was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age and some of his earliest drawings, aged four or five years old, were published in 1895. In 1875, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art. Initially his father paid for his tuition but in 1877 Tuke won a scholarship, which allowed him to continue his training at the Slade and in Italy in 1880. From 1881 to 1883 he was in Paris where he met the artist Jules Bastien-Lepage, who encouraged him to paint en plein air (in the open air) a method of working that came to dominate his practice. While studying in France, Tuke decided to move to Newlyn, Cornwall where many of his Slade and Parisian friends had already formed the Newlyn School of painters. He received several lucrative commissions there, after exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy of Art in London. In 1885, he returned to Falmouth where many of his major works were produced. He became an established artist and was elected to full membership of the Royal Academy in 1914. Tuke suffered a heart attack in 1928 and died in March 1929. In his will he left generous amounts of money to some of the men who, as boys, had been his models. Today he is remembered mainly for his oil paintings of young men, but in addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced as many portraits of sailing ships as he did human figures. He was a prolific artist, over 1,300 works are listed and more are still being discovered. Tuke painted over 13 portraits of 'quay scamp' and deckhand Jack 'Jacka' Rowing (Rolling) between 1886 and 1888. Rowling eventually became a diver for the Liverpool Salvage Company. Many of Tuke's models, like Phillip Harvey at Newlyn and Edwin 'Neddy' Hall in Falmouth, were local fishermen, mariners, or shipworkers.
View of Gwinear Road station looking west, Cornwall. Possibly at the opening of the Helston branch line on 9th May 1887
'This photograph was probably taken on 9th May 1887, the opening day of the Helston branch line. Every part of the railway infrastructure in view is in almost perfect condition, having been newly installed for the creation of the new junction station. The stone work to the platforms and the locking room has obviously only recently been laid. Even the staff are well turned out. The main line retains the mixed gauge, albeit relaid with cross-sleepered track, whilst the branch line bay has been laid in narrow gauge only. The bay continues beyond the station, to a buffer stop built against the newly cut back end of the original cutting side. The branch line engine is in attendance, almost certainly a 517 class 0-4-2T, complete with polished brass dome. The contrasting painting schemes of the Signal & Telegraph department, responsible for the signal box next to the crossing, and that of the station buildings are clearly evident. In particular the signal box windows sashes are white, whereas those on the station are darker, probably brown. The signal box barge boards are relatively dark when compared with the wall boarding, whilst those on the station appear considerably lighter. The signals are the standard G.W.R. type which was to survive for many years, although at this period only single red spectacle plates were fitted, "all right" being indicated simply by the white light" Information from: The Broad Gauge In Cornwall. M. Jolly & P. Garnsworthy. Gwinear Road station with a locomotive on the Helston branch line with her crew and members of the station staff. Advertising on the station includes 'The Angel Hotel, Helston', 'W & A Gilbey' and 'Moon & Sons'
© From the collection of the RIC