Blog

Battle of Britain Day

However politically incorrect it may be to some, I like many others have felt super proud and thankful today of Britain and her allies triumph during the infamous Battle of Britain. I’m also feeling very proud of Elva and her artistic legacy. 80 years is a long time...

Vegetarian Movers and Shakers

For the food trendy among us, Veganuary is in full swing and again my fathers’ fond assertions of Elva being ‘before her time’ have loomed large in my mind. It might be fashionable now, but the vegans and vegetarians of yesteryear were relentlessly ridiculed, and to...

Rosemary & Time (tick – tock)

One of the many privileges I have experienced through chasing my great aunts story was meeting 88 year old, Dr Rosemary Hill. It was a few weeks ago now but with "time" being the elusive creature it is, it has taken me until now to write about her. As a friend and...

My New Favourite

Until recently, my favourite Elva painting was 'Japanese Monument' which has hung in my home for many years now. Happily however, having learned of my chase, I was contacted by a gentleman called Nicholas, who for thirty-four years has been the custodian of a painting...

NATIONAL SCARF DAY

NATIONAL SCARF DAY

Well I certainly never expected to be printing a scarf in my Elva chase but it is mini projects like this that make the overall chase such fun; I never know quite what I’ll be doing or investigating next.  All it takes is a flick through Elva’s paperwork and something...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVA

29TH September 1908; the weather was unusually warm for the time of year and I can’t help but imagine my great grandmother, Clara Blacker, hot, bothered and exhausted by her contractions, probably sick from chloroform, desperately willing Elva’s birth to be over....

A Model Child

A Model Child

Owing to the chosen profession of my Great Grandfather, William Blacker, I am fortunate to own a substantial collection of photographs of Elva during her childhood. As the only girl, and second of three children born to professional photographers, William and Clara,...

Altar Piece – St George’s Chapel Biggin Hill

Altar Piece – St George’s Chapel Biggin Hill

Not all artists can boast of a legacy as historically important as Elva and although not an official War Artist, she used her spare time as a Motor Transport Driver (MTD) in the WAAF at Biggin Hill to sketch and paint hundreds of service personnel and scenes around...

Middle Child

Middle Child

There's no two ways about it.  If alive today, Elva would  make a fascinating case study for those in the field of birth order psychology. As the second of three children and also the only girl, her position in the Blacker family led to a life time of emotional...

It all began at 107 Brighton Road

It all began at 107 Brighton Road

The lock is stiff but my fathers’ thick fingers make light work of our entry.  It is spring, 1984 and at six-and-a-half I have never knowingly been to this house before, but for the moment at least, a not quite tangible sense of familiarity and peace contradicts the...

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