The 1st of August!
One year old today.
From details that I have been able to glean from other sources the purchace price was somewhere in the region of £875-0-0. It came with three sections of suction hose and filter basket. There was 1000 feet of delivery hose with quick disconnect couplings.
With this unit the members used to do regular practice at various points in the Cookham's. They had a plan worked out on how they would tackle a fire in any of the village buildings should it arise, nothing was left to maybe or chance. The main problem was where they could get their closest water supply, if there was no stand pipe or water main. From all this pre-planning and practice the Cookham Volunteer Fire Brigade entered many competitions and carried off many a shield and cups. They would show off their skills at the annual village Flower Show every year up until the war.
Not only did they serve the village, during the war saw service in both the London and Southampton Blitz. Having solid rubber tyres Sir Roger never suffered from punctures like other units on the scene. Also at harvest time these men during the war turned out to gather in the wheat, oats and barley.
This wraps up what I have on an artist that had to live under the shadow of a famous brother. Still his work and output was not wanting, and I am sure that those who studied under his teaching, received great benefit and knowledge.
The pair above I believe to be of two Oxford Don’s of that time, but I can’t be sure of their names.
Toward the end of the 1930's Gilbert Spencer took a teaching post with the Royal Accadamy of Art in London, and with the outbreak of war was evacuated to Ambleside in Cumbria.
While he was there he became friends with Josefina-de-Vasconcellos the sculptor and other friends included the poet Norman Nicholson and the well-known local farmer and breeder of Herdwick sheep Mrs Heelis (Beatrix Potter) before she died in 1943.
It was while here that he did war a certain amount of war artist work for the government, whatever he did was never published and because his expertise was in landscape, it can be assumed that his work followed that of another Cookham Artist, Frank Sherwin.
Another early work of Gilbert Spencer is “The Village Flower Show” The painting is what I would term a mythical village, constructed out of the artist’s imagination.
There is one thing of note in the picture, that of the boy and girl that I remember well when the annual Cookham Flower Show was always held down in Mill Lane. There were show exhibition classes for boys and girls to show and name wild flowers and grasses. This fact was brought to the fore is this work. Again the Slade influence can be seen in the figures in the picture.