Introductory note from Marilyn on 21st November 2006:
Len and Lesley Parsons helped out with the stall in Covent Garden Market after Hazle injured her back (mentioned in Hazle's House under Ceramic Focus). Sometime around 1991 they took over the stall completely as Roding Arts. Until 2003 they had never done a Signing as the stalls in Jubilee Hall are close together and a large gathering might upset other traders. I visited Len and Lesley's home in May of 2003 and suggested that, with the ground floor rooms all inter-connecting, this would not only be suitable but actually more spacious than many shops where events take place.
From Marilyn on 7th November 2003:
DIRECTIONS: About a mile north of Great Dunmow on the B1057 Finchingfield Road. Elsie Cottage is on the left near The Angel Inn. NOTE: There are three other Churchends or Church Ends in Essex!
FAREWELL TO CHRIS: Christine McAllister, Chief Painter since 1992 is retiring and this will be one of her final appearances. (There is a photo feature of her in the Spring 2003 High Street News.) For the past 11 years, as well as training painters and checking ceramics, she has either overseen, painted or helped to develop all the new, personalised and special paintings. A former fashion illustrator, Chris is particularly renowed for her vibrant depiction of people. A hard act to follow!
Collectors are invited to bring any specials (not standard pieces) wholly painted by her to be signed. Her Painter's Mark is like a reversed bass clef.
SPECIALS SYSTEM: The specials will be on display and available to order all through the event and there will be no one-offs. So collectors can visit at any time.
SECONDARY MARKET PIECES: will be on sale as well as the current range. You can ring Len to check what these are if you are not going to be there at the start.
A selection of sweet and savoury food and drinks will be available.
North West Essex has many pretty thatched villages and the lovely market town of Saffron Walden. This is Jamie Oliver country, "The Naked Chef" of book and television fame, now MBE! Jamie started cooking when he was eight at The Cricketers, his parent's pub and restaurant in nearby Clavering. Before being discovered at the River Cafe in London, his next stop was The Starr Inn at Great Dunmow. North East Essex is "Constable Country". The quintessential English landscapist John Constable grew up here and painted the places and scenes he knew and loved best.
From Marilyn on 3rd December 2003:
Those Hazle collectors who braved the driving rain and cold last Saturday had the pleasure of attending one of the most relaxed and enjoyable Signings ever.
The event was scheduled to start at 2pm. We had stayed locally overnight and arrived early to lend support. It seemed that others had the same idea. From 12.30pm we helped answer the constantly ringing door and telephone. At the peak around mid-afternoon, up to 30 people mingled among three adjoining rooms. One visitor was even "in transit" between flights at nearby Stansted Airport! But there was never any sense of feeling crowded - or having to queue. Many commented on the light and spacious feeling in Len and Lesley's delightfully refurbished Victorian villa.
A wonderful buffet including a selection of meats, cheeses, pies, breads, salads and cakes was laid out in the Breakfast Room. Two helper friends Sally and Ron dispensed juices and hot drinks. I had two lovely cups of tea made to order by Ron - just how I like it! And what a treat to have somewhere comfortable to sit down and chat - a real collectors' chinwag. Not only were there excellent bathroom facilities but a choice of no less than three - absolute bliss!
Chris McAllister, retiring as Chief Paintress after 11+ years, had an afternoon of memories - signing ceramics old and new that collectors had brought from home. We all gathered in the Sitting Room as Hazle paid tribute with a short speech to great applause. Many devotees conveyed their adulation to Chris privately as well!
On behalf of all the collectors there I would like to express appreciation to Lesley and Len for all their planning and hard work - and the provision of their lovely home. Not forgetting Hazle and all the others involved in making this a truly memorable occasion.
On display in the Dining Room:
|Maps & Charts||Ships Log||Farm Shop|
Antiquarian Maps & Charts LP10
Atmospherically illustrated on the Hay-on-Wye model.
Ships Log LP10
Nautical artefacts on the Canterbury Bakery in lovely sea-greens and blues.
Farm Shop LP10
On original bisques of the retired Epping model. With fresh and organic produce in the windows - appropriately including pumpkins for this Thanksgiving weekend!
|Antique Furniture Restorers||Coffee House||Chimes|
Antique Furniture Restorers LP10
On London Old Curiosity - with a wood effect from the window frames to the furniture inside.
Covent Garden Coffee Shop LP50
On Bath Sally Lunn in two paintways. This is the original from numbers 1-24.
On London Dickens with clocks & barometers. The Chimes is a Dickens' story.
Hazle's Hobby Painting LP15
Shared between Sidmouth (Kitchen Shop) above and Hay-on-Wye.
Smiths Ironmongers LP7
On the fabulous Liverpool M&S, with a Mr Smith behind the counter.
Astrology Centre: Science of Heavenly Bodies LP10
On London Cross Keys, with a mottled design on the wall in blue, lilac and white. Glistening stars with platinum-plated tips add to the frosted appearance.
With a blue wall and red Casino sign on London Dickens.
Astrology Centre: Merlins LP10
On London Cross Keys. "Merlins" has a wizard in the window and bursts of red, orange and yellow on the wall, with Star Sign symbols picked out in gold.
Covent Garden Coffee Shop LP50
Shared with the version above, both on Bath Sally Lunn. New paintway - from numbers 25-50.
Hazle's Hobby Painting LP15
On Hay-on-Wye and in the same colours as the Sidmouth version above which shares the LP15.
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2 June, 2021
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