Benton End Remembered
Compiled by Gwynneth Reynolds and Diana Grace
This lovely book should be of interest to members of The Ipswich Society as
a record of an unusual episode in the cultural history of our area. Cedric
Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines set up a School of Painting in their home,
Benton End near Hadleigh and maintained it from 1940 until their deaths in
1978 and 1982. This book is a series of reminiscences by former students,
visitors and friends, of their work. The book is beautifully produced,
generously illustrated with reproductions of the artists' work, well designed
and pleasant to handle. The compilers (both members of the Society) have
done an excellent job in giving these memories form and continuity.
Some overall impressions emerge. The methods of teaching, were
unconventional and owed everything to the characters of Cedric and Lett; and
they had a great influence on the lives and work of the artists who gathered
at Benton End. [Editor: the artists include such notable painters as Lucien
Freud, Frances Hodgkins and Maggi Humbling.]
The experience was heightened by the beauty of the Tudor house and its
wonderful garden. Cedric Morris, besides being a painter of great ability,
was a distinguished plantsman and bred irises, so that gardeners as well as
artists made the trek to Benton End. There was also that slight air of
grubbiness that seems to cling to the unorthodox artistic way of life;
descriptions of the
kitchen will bring a shudder to the conventional. Altogether, for East
Anglians, a book to buy and enjoy.
Ships and Shipyards of Ipswich 1700-1970
by Hugh Moffat
Malthouse Press £17.50
(available from the publisher tel: 01473 328927)
Hugh's book is based mainly on research in local newspapers and the Custom
House Register of Ipswich Ships.
In the 18th century Ipswich was one of the leading twelve shipbuilding
centres in England with
more than 10,000 tons to its credit. The shipbuilding yards were located on
the River Orwell in the parishes of St Clement's, St Peter's and St Mary
Stoke and also at St John's Ness, close to where the Orwell Bridge now
crosses the river.
In the 19th century East Indiamen, the largest craft to be launched into the
Orwell, were constructed in the Halifax Yard. The launching of the Orwell in
1817 was watched by a crowd of some 20,000. This vessel made eight voyages
to the east and later traded along the coast of China.
The output of the Ipswich shipbuilders was not confined to large ships. The
range of vessels
included little schooners, brigs, brigantines and ketches and also later in
the 19th century many spritsail and boomie barges. Many of the vessels built
were for Ipswich owners, and the book is also the story of more than two
centuries of shipowning in the town.
The book is a good quality hardback containing 180 pages with approximately
80 photographs, sketches and other illustrations.