Walthamstow Historical Society pays for painting restorations that reveal Waltham Forest's past

Keith Miller Walthamstow Historical Society with two of the paintings on display in Vestry House Museum.

Keith Miller Walthamstow Historical Society with two of the paintings on display in Vestry House Museum. Buy this photo

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

An historical society has helped shed light on hidden facets of Waltham Forest’s past after paying for a series of paintings of the borough to be restored.

Walthamstow Historical Society donated £3,200 to the Vestry House Museum in Vestry Road, Walthamstow, to restore six paintings which had been gathering dust and becoming worse for wear in the museum’s storage rooms.

Now the images, framed and repaired by experts in Cambridge, are not only on display in the museum’s gallery, but have been scanned and uploaded to a BBC online gallery of British collections.

Society chairman Neil Houghton said the paintings of old landmarks in Chingford, Highams Park and Walthamstow, made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, depict Waltham Forest as it turned from a leafy rural getaway for the rich into a busy area of east London.

He said: “They give an amazing snapshot of how different things were. I think people will be really surprised at some of what they see.”

One such painting is of a factory owned by Wells Brimtoy, one of Britain’s biggest toy manufacturers in the 1920s until the Second World War, by an artist called G T Colvin.

The building in Somers Road, Walthamstow, was one of the first places to offer women a decent wage for their work assembling toys.

Mr Houghton added: “It was amazingly important in producing metal toys when most of that was produced in Germany. There were lots of factory jobs for men but this was one of the first places to offer good wages to women.

“What’s fascinating is it gives us a view inside the factory and provides a sense of how it worked.”

Another painting by a man called Cyrus Swolt is called Unknown House, but Mr Houghton said it depicts the home of the Warners, at the end of Walthamstow High Street.

The Warner family were one of the biggest landowners in the 1800s, with a fortune amassed through the sugar trade and slavery.

They also built the Warner estate in the 1880s, but it was not the philanthropic gesture many people consider it, according to Mr Houghton.

He said: “It was about securing their wealth. They realised the area would urbanise because London was expanding, so they bought up a lot of land and built on it.

“They made a lot of money that way, then sold their manor and moved away.”

The paintings can be found online at www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings, along with others in the Vestry House collection including local landscapes by figurative painter and former resident of the borough Cyril Mann.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:56pm Thu 21 Feb 13

TTMAN says...

This could be the link.

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/arts/yourpaintings/
galleries/locations/
vestry-house-museum-
6486

Shows Monoux Almshouses before they nicked the lead rainwater down pipes.
This could be the link. http://www.bbc.co.uk /arts/yourpaintings/ galleries/locations/ vestry-house-museum- 6486 Shows Monoux Almshouses before they nicked the lead rainwater down pipes. TTMAN
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

Fantastic news, when Walthamstow was a lovely place to live in, Firemen and Police were part of the community and helped out. When Police were needed, you called in at the Police Station not into a dark Industrial Estate.

Cranberry Tinted Spectacles had not been invented.
Fantastic news, when Walthamstow was a lovely place to live in, Firemen and Police were part of the community and helped out. When Police were needed, you called in at the Police Station not into a dark Industrial Estate. Cranberry Tinted Spectacles had not been invented. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

11:26am Fri 22 Feb 13

dlon says...

Really Cornbeefur!

An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.
Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community. dlon
  • Score: 0

11:41am Fri 22 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

dlon wrote:
Really Cornbeefur!

An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.
If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street.

They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society.

They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.
[quote][p][bold]dlon[/bold] wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.[/p][/quote]If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

11:54am Fri 22 Feb 13

dlon says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
dlon wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.
If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.
“If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street.”

They don’t play in playground they undertake safety fire safety courses for children – your statement is derogatory and childish.

You imply they used an excuse of time not to help a victim of a crime – do you have evidence to support this if not it is a potentially libellous statement.

“They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society”

No that’s not obvious is just gave you a few examples of what they do, you making false inference form my statement – this is also a very child way to argue.

Your next line is beyond any reasonable speculation about the mindset of a fire fighter so it actually just ‘made up’.

“They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime”

Yeah I think they earn a decent wage – whats your point? Pensions are fair, some have second job, and well we all have our options about strikes, - not sure what any of this filibuster has to do with the repeated implication that Firefighter in Walthamstow were aware of an assault on the public and failed to assist. Please produce evidence to back up your comment.


“the grimacing policemen wonders why no firemen help out no doubt” pleasereproduce evidence to support your statement.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dlon[/bold] wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.[/p][/quote]If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.[/p][/quote]“If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street.” They don’t play in playground they undertake safety fire safety courses for children – your statement is derogatory and childish. You imply they used an excuse of time not to help a victim of a crime – do you have evidence to support this if not it is a potentially libellous statement. “They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society” No that’s not obvious is just gave you a few examples of what they do, you making false inference form my statement – this is also a very child way to argue. Your next line is beyond any reasonable speculation about the mindset of a fire fighter so it actually just ‘made up’. “They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime” Yeah I think they earn a decent wage – whats your point? Pensions are fair, some have second job, and well we all have our options about strikes, - not sure what any of this filibuster has to do with the repeated implication that Firefighter in Walthamstow were aware of an assault on the public and failed to assist. Please produce evidence to back up your comment. “the grimacing policemen wonders why no firemen help out no doubt” pleasereproduce evidence to support your statement. dlon
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

dlon wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
dlon wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.
If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.
“If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street.”

They don’t play in playground they undertake safety fire safety courses for children – your statement is derogatory and childish.

You imply they used an excuse of time not to help a victim of a crime – do you have evidence to support this if not it is a potentially libellous statement.

“They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society”

No that’s not obvious is just gave you a few examples of what they do, you making false inference form my statement – this is also a very child way to argue.

Your next line is beyond any reasonable speculation about the mindset of a fire fighter so it actually just ‘made up’.

“They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime”

Yeah I think they earn a decent wage – whats your point? Pensions are fair, some have second job, and well we all have our options about strikes, - not sure what any of this filibuster has to do with the repeated implication that Firefighter in Walthamstow were aware of an assault on the public and failed to assist. Please produce evidence to back up your comment.


“the grimacing policemen wonders why no firemen help out no doubt” pleasereproduce evidence to support your statement.
I am referring to others who commented that it was not their duty to intervene in this 'nothing to do with me society attitude' when in Common Law it is.
[quote][p][bold]dlon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dlon[/bold] wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.[/p][/quote]If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.[/p][/quote]“If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street.” They don’t play in playground they undertake safety fire safety courses for children – your statement is derogatory and childish. You imply they used an excuse of time not to help a victim of a crime – do you have evidence to support this if not it is a potentially libellous statement. “They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society” No that’s not obvious is just gave you a few examples of what they do, you making false inference form my statement – this is also a very child way to argue. Your next line is beyond any reasonable speculation about the mindset of a fire fighter so it actually just ‘made up’. “They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime” Yeah I think they earn a decent wage – whats your point? Pensions are fair, some have second job, and well we all have our options about strikes, - not sure what any of this filibuster has to do with the repeated implication that Firefighter in Walthamstow were aware of an assault on the public and failed to assist. Please produce evidence to back up your comment. “the grimacing policemen wonders why no firemen help out no doubt” pleasereproduce evidence to support your statement.[/p][/quote]I am referring to others who commented that it was not their duty to intervene in this 'nothing to do with me society attitude' when in Common Law it is. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Fri 22 Feb 13

TTMAN says...

Any chance you can comment about the actual article.
Any chance you can comment about the actual article. TTMAN
  • Score: 0

11:12am Sat 23 Feb 13

Sam Hain says...

Troll-lol-lol-lol-lo
l! An interesting thread hijacked once again. Get back under your rickety-rackety bridge.
Troll-lol-lol-lol-lo l! An interesting thread hijacked once again. Get back under your rickety-rackety bridge. Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

11:53am Sat 23 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

TTMAN wrote:
Any chance you can comment about the actual article.
Like you?
[quote][p][bold]TTMAN[/bold] wrote: Any chance you can comment about the actual article.[/p][/quote]Like you? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Mon 25 Feb 13

tjm01 says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
dlon wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.
If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.
If you are refering to the attack near to Walthamstow Fire Stn you may care to remember it was not an attack in the street, it took place in a house near to the Fire Stn which the Fire Fighters would have had no knowledge of
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dlon[/bold] wrote: Really Cornbeefur! An article about a painting and you us it to have a pop and firefighers again! , they help out alot, please produce evidence that they don't. There is plenty of information on the LFB website about bookign a Home fire safety visit, schools visits, Fire appliances for fairs and community event, Youth schemes. I'm sure you'd be surprised how much work they do in the local community.[/p][/quote]If they have time to play in playgrounds and go to garden fetes then they should also have time to help out if a member of the public is being attacked in the street. They obviously have a lot of time on their hands when they are not sleeping and I am glad for them as long as they remember that they are Citizens and not removed from society. They earn a decent wage and have second lucrative jobs in many cases and a gilt edged pension when they leave, yet still have lightening strikes when it suits them, endangering the public in the meantime.[/p][/quote]If you are refering to the attack near to Walthamstow Fire Stn you may care to remember it was not an attack in the street, it took place in a house near to the Fire Stn which the Fire Fighters would have had no knowledge of tjm01
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree