Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Walking back in time through Eltham, Charlton and Greenwich with the pictures of Llwyd Roberts

Now anyone with an interest in Eltham’s history will have come across the pictures of Mr Llwyd Roberts. *

They first appeared in the Kentish Times in the 1920s and 30s have reappeared in collections since and regularly pop up accompanying  descriptions of Eltham in the past.

My own collection comes from a book published by the Kentish Times in 1966 which was sent to me by Margaret Copeland Gain whose husband like me is an Eltham exile and like me derived great pleasure from Mr Llwyd Roberts’s work.

He was a fine artist and draughtsman and some at least of the pictures will have been drawn from firsthand knowledge while others were inspired by watercolours, drawings and photographs.

What I didn’t know but should have done was that his work extended to other parts of south east London and for that I have to thank Tricia Lesley who came across a catalogue for an exhibition of his “Watercolours and Drawings of Places in the Borough of Greenwich.” from 1976.**

Included in the catalogue are places I never knew existed and which have long gone.

Of these I was drawn to Morton’s Theatre which Mr Roberts’s drew in 1934 and Charlton Village sometime around 1870..

And as you do I went looking for the story of the theatre and found it at that wonderful site dedicated to the music hall and theatre history.***

So I will leave you to follow the link and instead just say that the catalogue lists 168 of his pictures which along with another 58 can be viewed by appointment at Greenwich Heritage Centre.****

Now the Centre is one of those places which if I lived locally I would never be away from, because along with Mr Roberts’s pictures it has an extensive collection of material covering the history of the area.

And as I know next to nothing about Charlton where our Ian grew up I might well look up the background to the picture of the village.

I am not sure when it was drawn but it is based on a source dating from the 1870s.

Pictures; Morton’s Theatre, 1934, Greenwich High Road, and Charlton village circa 1870s, from Watercolours and Drawings of Places in the Borough of Greenwich, 1977

*Llwyd Roberts, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Llwyd%20Roberts

** Watercolours and Drawings of Places in the Borough of Greenwich, Llwyd Roberts, Woodlands Art Gallery, December 1976-January 1977.

*** The Prince of Wales Theatre, Greenwich, arthurlloyd, co.uk http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Greenwich.htm

****Greenwich Heritage Centre, heritage.centre@rght.org.uk

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