Article posted: 14 March 10
We have received, from a gentleman in Scotland, a very interesting email. The gentleman in question, Paul Thompson, has an original painting by Arthur Spooner, a view of Whitby Harbour, from part way up the steps to the abbey, painted in 1942. He remembers this painting hanging half way up the stairs in his parents house in Essex, circa 1954 when he was just a child and he understood that it was a wedding present. They subsequently moved location to Lancashire and he had not seen the painting again until, in 2005 when, sadly after his mother’s death, he was clearing her house and discovered the painting in the loft. It now hangs proudly in his home in Scotland.
However, subsequent to this, he has investigated further and an even more interesting story emerged.
The painting was in fact a wedding present, but for his mother’s first marriage. In circa 1942 she married an RAF Pilot Officer, Walter Dench and was widowed very shortly afterwards when he was sadly killed in action. Walter Dench was from Nottingham and that would confirm why his parents commissioned a Nottingham artist for the painting. Paul’s mother was from the North East and was of course very familiar with the Whitby area. An added point of interest is a distant connection of Walter Dench with Dame Judi Dench. Paul has very kindly allowed us to show the picture, attached to this article.
In our 130th year of existence, it is remarkable that we have this wonderful story regarding one of our founder member’s paintings.
On behalf of all of our members past and present we thank Paul for taking the trouble to contact us and may he enjoy many more years with this lovely work of art.