Four more good things

Four more good things in February


What a wonderful exhibition ‘The Tudors: Passion, Power & Politics’ at the Holburne Museum, Bath – on until 8 May, 2022. So lucky that this has come so close to home.

‘This focused exhibition, developed in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and National Museums Liverpool, includes some of the most iconic images in British painting including the ‘Darnley’ and ‘Armada’ portraits of Elizabeth I.’

As you enter this particularly intimate gallery, you couldn’t help but gasp at the glorious sight of so many gorgeous – and familiar,  portraits in one place. The gallery appeared quite dark until you got used to the setting,  and the clever low level lighting pinpointed features – catching the whites of the eyes, and the ruffs and pearls, bringing everything to life, as the viewer approached the paintings.

It was wonderful to be able to get up close to the pictures to scrutinse the details of the costumes and wonder at the material and jewels – how superbly painted.


I have managed to keep my 100% success rate of the 5-word online game although new owners, the New York Times, have managed to lose my record on my account. Not the only one, I gather, from online comments. Fortunately, I’ve got a backup with a daily record in my special notebook. I can understand the creator of Wordle selling up to the NYT, a very esteemed journal, which are thought of as ‘safe hands’ to look after his creation.

As you can see, I’m rather fond of using ADIEU – with its four vowels to get me going.

I took out a subscription to the NYT  a while ago so I could access their archives. They have some very good articles about the Violet Charlesworth scandal, which was a sensation here, across the country, and across the Pond, where they do love a ‘good’ fraudster story. Look at the current trend for TV dramas with Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna.

Taken from David Phelps’s photograph


I regularly check Calne In Photographs Facebook to see what members are posting and if there are interesting new old photographs. Today, a member had posted an old photograph he’d found in a box at home, unbelievably of Violet Charlesworth – MY Violet Charlesworth.

Unmistakably her, in a fantastic outfit of furs and a fancy hat, and clutching one of her pet dogs. It was taken by Harold R Gross photographer in Calne, in 1908. Violet was a regular visitor to Calne for a short period , when she rented the Woodlands and spent huge sums of money (or should I say bought on credit) locally on refurbishing the place. She never paid her bills and after going bankrupt faked her own death as a way of escaping. I am contacting the owner of the photograph to see if I can include it in my book. It’s a gem.

Lovely advert from 1920 Kelly’s Wiltshire Directory


I do love a Kelly’s Directory – handling the real book, not looking up information online versions.  I’ve got 1898, 1920 and 1939 volumes which are always to hand. I found the address of Gross photographers straightway in Church Street in the 1920 edition. I assume that Edgar is the son as I couldn’t find Harold in my earlier edition.

More research is needed.