At St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, painted on the walls of the chancel is a unique piece of local history. About a hundred years ago, Kitty Milroy, a local artist, painted local people and local scenes in murals. The paintings now are in a precarious condition. There is curling of the paint and paint losses and areas where the paintings have been rubbed over many years resulting in a powdering of the paint. In order to save this piece of our local heritage, St Mark’s needs to apply to various organizations for grants in order to stabilise the loose paint as conservation is the first and most important goal. Once this has been done, then filling and restoration can take place hopefully with further funding. But you may be able help.
Nick Seversway, a local restorer of paintings says, “What we need to do to put a case for grants is to gather as much info as is possible and this is where you come in. There are some names linked to the figures, but we would love to know exactly who posed for which picture. Also there was once a huge amount of preliminary drawings and paintings does anyone know what happened to them? The biggest mystery is Kitty Milroy herself. She was the daughter of the Vicar of Carisbrooke whose mother moved the family to The Oast House between 1902 and 1911 after his death. Does anyone know where Kitty trained in art? Did she paint any other pictures?
All and any info will help in our bid to save this unique piece of local history.
I am a restorer of 35 years’ experience working locally and in London. This work is no run of mill amateur work. It is simply rendered but well drawn, perfectly set in its patterned surround and a huge undertaking for one very talented woman.”
If you have any information, please contact:
The Art House
Photograph by Richard Heath
The reordering committee have finished the job they were asked to do and have produced a plan to re-order St Mark’s. I would like to express my thanks to them for all the time and effort they put in. It is only possible to give a brief account of the plans but I am happy to answer any questions arising.
• We have received permission to remove the choir stalls and are in the process of selling them.
• The present font to be replaced by a custom made metal and glass font which will be moveable.
• The Victorian wooden floor boards to be sanded and polished and lay Victorian style tiles in the aisles.
• Electrical rewiring and installation of modern lighting.
• Creation of a quiet area with comfortable seating for private meetings,
• Replacing the wooden doors at the back of the north side of the church with glass doors.
• Insulation of the roof.
• We considered including conserving the wall paintings but the cost was so high we decided not to proceed at this time.
The estimated cost of the plans is £128,180, not including the architects fees. We are investigating getting grants to help with the cost and there will be meeting at 12 midday on October 25th in St Mark’s to discuss applying for grants and plan fundraising. The meeting is open to everybody and I hope as many people as possible will come. If you are interested but not able to come to the meeting please let me know.
St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale will be hosting a superb musical evening’s entertainment on November 14th at 7.30pm. This includes an organ recital by Stephen Lacey resident organist and director of music at St. Andrew’s Church Farnham, a choral repertoire by the Sedici with musical director Valerie Hoppe MBE and a performance from the Sedici recorder consort. There will also be a range of readings by a wide variety of authors from Noel Coward to Conan Doyle and J.M.Barrie to Kipling, all read by Rosemary Wisbey. Refreshments will be available during the interval.
The Reverend Lesley Crawley, a priest at St Mark’s said, “Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as ‘Emily’ after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. The ‘action’ which links the keys to the pipes has become sluggish, the leatherwork is failing and the wind noise from the leaking wind trunks is detracting from her beautiful tone. The time has come for us to restore her.”
She continued, “There is no charge for this wonderful evening of entertainment but a retiring collection will be taken in aid of our pipe organ ‘Emily’. Please put the date in your diary and come along with all your friends.”
People can get very defensive about pews in churches, however they are a relatively modern invention.
Initially the only seating in church was around the wall or pillars – leading to the saying the weak go to the wall – with most people standing. Then in the 14th Century pews started to be introduced, becoming popular in the 15th Century as the sermon became a more important part of the service.
As pews were introduced, so came the habit of pew renting, where people paid to install “their pew”, or rented one, and often secured a name plate to it. Despite the fact that in 1612 a court had declared that a church “is dedicated and consecrated to the service of God, and is common to all inhabitants”, and therefore it belonged to the bishop to decide the question of ownership of a seat there; the practice continued into the 1970s.
This practice mirrored the stratification in society on churches, with some people furnishing their pews with cushions and curtains, and lighting fires.
Pews tend to create a particular approach to church in which the congregation become more like an audience than those gathered around participating. In more recent times some churches have removed pews and replaced them with chairs, which allow for a variety of layouts, from the traditional rows, to services in the round, with the altar in the centre of the people.
The layout of a church can say much about what we think is happening there. What do you think?
A concert not to be missed
This is a rare opportunity to experience a superb musical evening’s entertainment. On November 14th at 7.30pm at St. Mark’s there will be an organ recital by Stephen Lacey resident organist and director of music at St. Andrew’s Church Farnham. A choral repertoire will be provided by Sedici with musical director Valerie Hoppe MBE. They will be singing a range of music from Vaughn Williams ‘Falstaff and the Fairies’ and the ‘Wedding Chorus’, Chilcott ‘Thou Knowest Lord’, ‘The Silver Swan’ Orlando Gibbons through to more modern arrangements of ‘Putting on the Ritz’ & ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. There will also be an interesting range of readings by a wide variety of authors from Noel Coward to Conan Doyle and J.M.Barrie to Kipling, all read by Rosemary Wisbey. Refreshments will be available during the interval.
There is no charge for this wonderful evening of entertainment but a retiring collection will be taken in aid of our pipe organ “Emily”. Please put the date in your diary and come along.
Why does Emily need saving?
Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as “Emily” after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. The “action” which links the keys to the pipes has become sluggish, the leatherwork is failing and the wind noise from the leaking wind trunks is detracting from her beautiful tone. The time has come for us to restore her.