Historic local paintings come home
Two paintings of The White Horse by Harpenden artist Ernest Heasman will shortly go on permanent display here in the pub now that they’ve come back to their original home, almost a century after they were painted.
The pair of oil paintings, dated 1919, are lovely countryside scenes showing the pub as it looked in those days, when the brewer was Glover Ales, a small Harpenden brewer taken over by J W Green in 1919.
In immaculate condition, they’ve been in the safe keeping of Ian and Hazel Taylor after being passed down Ian’s through family who have a strong connection to the pub – Ian’s grandfather William Seabrook and his wife Ella Jane Seabrook ran it from 1917 to 1929 and Ian’s mother was born in one of the upstairs rooms.
The paintings were found hanging in the front room of the cottage at number 5, Hatching Green, where Ian’s grandparents lived after moving out from the pub. The artist often drank at The White Horse when he lived nearby on East Common, and did many sketches of the pub.
Heasman is best known for his stained glass pieces for churches and other buildings, though he created many beautiful landscape paintings of places he loved in the area, according to the Harpenden & District Local History Society.
Ian and his wife Hazel enjoyed a trip down memory lane in December to bring the paintings back to the pub, along with some wonderful old photographs of his grandfather standing outside The White Horse. They were presented to Sam at a little ceremony attended by Patricia Yates and Jean Gardner from the Harpenden & District Local History Society. See the write up here in the Herts Advertiser 14 January 2016
The paintings really look at home here in the pub and we think the artist would be happy to see them back in their rightful home. Do pop in and admire them next time you’re passing and read more on Harpendia here and also in February’s Now magazine.