Hazle Signing - Roding Arts - 7 August 2005


The Signing

Hazle and Stephen arrived with bottles of bubbly for a champagne toast to friends from last year who are no longer with us. So the Signing literally started with a bang - in fact several of them!

As Ron and Sally Ridge were on holiday, Stephen did the honours with the barbecue and received many compliments. Have you noticed that this is one job men never mind doing? Perhaps they are re-kindling that ancient relationship to fire or their primeval roots as hunter-gatherers! Stephen's efforts were supplemented by the wonderful spread prepared by Lesley with new dishes including bowls of flavoured couscous and rice added to all the fresh salads such as we enjoyed last year. This was followed by strawberries and cream plus lemon, chocolate or raspberry cheesecakes.

Despite new faces, due to holidays and last-minute cancellations from illness, there were fewer people than at previous Roding Arts Signings. However for the first time we enjoyed the company of a couple of children, Ben and his little sister Max from Kent. In the end Brian Jessop was unable to make it. But those of us who chose to go walking still had a great outing, although we missed his expert butterfly knowledge. Maybe another time. Apart from the ceramics, as our Roding Arts 2004 page focused on collectors, we decided to feature the walk this year.

As ever a big Thank You to Len and Lesley whose hard work and hospitality is becoming legendary.


The Ceramics

Together with other themes, there is an emphasis on food and drink in this Signing - and we know everyone is interested in that!

(Click on any of the ceramic photos to see the fine detail)


Wheeler’s Oyster Bar LP30 on Pateley Bridge 2

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This famous oyster bar has been reviewed in the New York Times! Established in 1856, the building in Whitstable High Street is painted in these colours and looks very similar to this model. In other words it is tiny, with the Oyster Parlour at the back having just four tables. But size has not affected its world-wide renown. There is even a large hardback book The Oyster Seekers complete with recipes - but do buy the ceramic first! The front shop is a take-away Seafood Bar with wares in the window.


West End Studios LP10 on Cambridge (Wide)

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This is an excellent opportunity to acquire one of the earliest and rarer Hazle buildings. This is the first time I have seen it with a post box. Only in production between 1991-1992, ten of the original bisques were discovered during the recent workshop move and used for this Limited Painting.

West End Studios is based on a real photographer’s in London. Grandly framed portraits appear in the right window on the ground floor and equipment in the left. There is plenty of action on the upper floors too. Photography has never been depicted as a standard painting and only occasionally as a special, making this LP doubly different.


Indra Shabash (Terracotta/Green/Gold) LP20
on Northampton Theatre

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It was Lesley’s clever idea to have an Indian Restaurant painted on this very appropriate model. The paintway is reminiscent of Bombay Balti on the original Indian building. That is now only available via the Secondary Market where it tends to command a healthy premium.

This LP20 presents an alternative way of owning a Hazle Indian Restaurant, and one where you can actually see the diners - the windows on the original were simply painted black.


Indra Shabash (Light Blue/Gold) LP20
on Northampton Theatre

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This more muted version is a similar colour to the original blue and gold Star of India Restaurant. Notice how the theatre’s railings on the ground floor have been painted here as ornate doorways.

Both colourways (plus a few others just available on the day) count towards the same LP20.


Perfumery LP20 on Bath Couture

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You can almost smell all the lovely things in these enticing window displays. The beautiful burgundy is a new colour in Hazle’s paint range and looks perfect on this Georgian building from Bath. This subject has only ever appeared as a special.


The Winery LP20 on Tudor Teashop

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Just the place to visit after your Indian meal! Wineries have recently become more prevalent in the UK and many enjoy a good reputation. The bunches of grapes and vine tendrils are depicted in delicate detail, while the flowers in the hanging baskets complement the overall effect.

This medieval half-timbered building is in shades of sepia brown, with just a hint of blue sky above the courtyard gates.


P Eades LP10 on Seaford

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Based on an actual shop in Brentwood, the windows are full of marzipan and other sweets, including the well-known Rowntree’s (Fruit) Pastilles and Clarnico Mint Creams. The store also sells ices, tobacco and “Cigarettes As Smoked By Royalty”! The shop front is painted with an attractive marbled and tiled finish.

The window of the standard Sweet Shop is created with a transfer. So this is a chance to have an intricately hand-painted Confectioner (and Tobacconist) as a short run Limited Painting.


Badger's Rest LP50 on Canterbury Bakery

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This is based on a real pub and was originally commissioned by one of Len's customers before being turned into a Limited Painting. Although technically available before the Signing we decided to add to this site as few collectors will have seen it. The badger on his hammock, slung between two trees, is a particularly attractive feature and the restaurant looks quite atmospheric.

The Walk

Park Opposite Elsie Cottage

The park opposite Elsie Cottage is surprisingly large and varied. There are wide spaces of mown grass and a recreation ground with swings, slide and seesaw.

Led by Lesley, our small group of walkers heads off into the wilder area around the park edge to follow the path of the river.

Big Willow Tree

Willow trees are commonly found on riverbanks and as shown above, we saw some magnificent specimens with unusually thick trunks.

These are particular favourites of Len and Lesley who walk their Airedale terrier Branston here; they are definitely trees for hugging!

River Chelmer

The 'canal' that Brian discovered last year is in fact the River Chelmer!

Gatekeeper Butterfly

A resting Gatekeeper (or Hedge Brown) butterfly near the river that Chris managed to capture on camera.

Leafy Lane

A very pleasant leafy lane...

Waiting for Len

Leaving the countryside on the approach into Dunmow, a kerb side bench is a welcome stopping point.

Lesley our leader (at the back) makes an SOS call from her mobile for Len to pick up the more weary among us.

Peacock Butterfly

While we wait Hazle spots a buddleia bush across the road covered in these amazing Peacock butterflies. Chris gets a good shot.

Len with 4x4

Within minutes Len arrives in his 4x4 for the first of two journeys home.

Great Dunmow

Our group, depleted in number, continues through the charming small town of Great Dunmow. The building with the bell tower is the former town hall, now a local estate agent.

Town Lock-Up

Town Lock-Up Plaque

Walking out of Dunmow we pass the old Lock-up above.

The Doctor's Pond below, with many ducks and swans, shows Hazle doing a solo circuit. Named after a doctor who collected leeches for treatments here, it is also where the very first lifeboat was tested and launched.

Hazle Solo by Doctors Pond

Ben on the Slide

In the Park

We wend our way back through another part of the park where Ben enjoys a ride on the slide. He also got Chris on the other end of the seesaw!

The church above in the hamlet of Church End serves the parish of Great Dunmow although it is over a mile away - they are generally more centrally located.

Like Dunmow, Church End has many pretty period cottages and buildings.

In the Garden

Back at Elsie Cottage, some walkers (and others) recuperate in the walled garden - sustained by tea, fruit squashes and more delicious cheesecake!

Another great end to another great day...

In the Garden



Last modified on 20 January, 2014
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