SAHAAS Exhibition: "St Albans c.1900: a Pictorial Showcase"

Photo:George St, St Albans c.1910

George St, St Albans c.1910

SAHAAS E.S. Kent collection

The weekend of the 25th & 26th January in the Abbey's North Transept

By John Cox

As our contribution to the forthcoming Residents First weekend, the Society is mounting an exhibition, “St Albans c.1900: a Pictorial Showcase”, in the North Transept of the Abbey.

Saturday 25th January: 10am – 4pm

Sunday 26th January: 1pm – 3.30pm

Digital images of the photographs of E. Stanley Kent are to be shown alongside sketches drawn by Holmes Winter, an artist who knew the illustrator F.G. Kitton.

Both were capturing scenes in St Albans around 1900, a time marked by significant increases both in population and commerce. Stanley Kent shows St Albans through the eyes of a photographer noting existing and newly-built buildings whilst Holmes Winter’s sketches are drawn of what he believed to be the “last of old St Albans”.

Holmes Edwin Cornelius Winter was born in Great Yarmouth in 1851 and came to live locally in the early 1890s following a walking holiday he and Kitton undertook from Norfolk to London and from London to Derby, posing as itinerant musicians entertaining people in the taverns and pubs along the way. Where they had a good night they slept in a bed, where it was bad they slept under stars. Holmes Winter so admired St Albans he came to live here, though for the last few years of his life he was detained in a mental institution. His sketches have been newly copied from Hertfordshire Archives’ set of 100 drawings, by a member of the Society working on research for a book about Kitton.

Stanley Kent’s photographs come from an album he donated to the Society in the 1930s. His family had lived in the town from the 17th century often taking prominent roles in local life. In the mid-1850s Stanley’s grandfather established a brewery off Holywell Hill and this remained a family business until it merged in 1918 with Adey & White’s brewery where the Maltings shopping centre now is. Stanley’s passions for the history of St Albans and photography shine through in these photographs.

Please note: this replaces the display described in the November 2013 newsletter, “Education in St Albans 1830-1914"; please also note that the event’s opening times shown here are correct, those in the St Albans Council-produced booklet are not.

This page was added by Jonathan Mein on 02/05/2014.

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