A charming link between Curwen, The Letchworth Settlement and The Fry Art Gallery

Apr 25, 2018

Curwen has formed partnerships with both The Fry Art Gallery and more recently Letchworth Settlement to deliver Print workshops on an outreach basis at their premises.
In conversation David Oelman Chairman of The Fry Art Gallery told me of his Uncle Charlie who lived next door to The Letchworth Settlement. It is a charming memory that I felt was worth sharing...

"My Uncle Charlie used to live next door, he never bothered to weed the garden but raked the weeds to one side and created quite a bank between him and the Settlement. He was a bit of a character and kept his money in newspaper in the attic; when decimalisation came in he allowed his son in law to go up to the attic, remove one bundle at a time and take it to the bank to change into modern notes, bring them back and re wrap in more newspaper. It took weeks!

The houses were the exhibition cottages built for £100 each so not all were very substantial and he had a branch growing through the wall ; it amused him. My Aunt used to come up from London to see him, and he always gave her the train fair and some pocket money... 50p!
Later in life he lived with his daughter and son-in-law who complained that he got up in the middle of the night to have a shave and when asked why he did it replied, because it irritates them!
He was the last person in the town to wear spats, probably the last person in the world. Aged 90 he used to put on his plimsolls and play football with the lads in the street."