BACK TO THE '40s
and rekindling happy memories
Julie Bingham’s Blog
I recently came across an old monochrome photo which belonged to my mother and
was taken in 1942 during the War. It’s a photo of four ladies, including my mother Jean
and my twin brother’s Godmother Joan, who is still alive and lives in a nursing home
with her husband in Sidmouth.
I love this photo as it appears to be a time of happiness during what was an awful time, particularly in London where they lived. I know that three of the ladies, including my mother, were secretaries in a large factory in Wandsworth which made engineering components for the war effort. I remember my mother telling me that when the air raid siren went off
they often had to take their typewriters to the underground nearby to finish off their work for the day.
I imagine that this photo was taken on a Sunday and I know it was taken in the beautiful grounds of a large estate near Wimbledon owned by an Italian Count and Joan was due to marry the butler’s son, John the following year. Apparently the Countess invited them to come and have afternoon tea and pick flowers in their lovely garden.
I was so inspired to paint this picture
which I've now finished and you can see below.
You will see that I have captured the essence of that day and have not captured them individually. In fact I really struggled with the second lady on the rhs because I didn't get her position correctly at the beginning. I never draw but go straight in with my palette knife and brush. I’m happy with it although it could be much better.
This Christmas I plan to give this painting to Joan and John, which I hope they will enjoy.