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Hgte 2002

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R C Soc Harrogate Weekend, October 2002

Click to enlarge (61 kB). "Next we have a group round a table at Harrogate again - not festive, nor enjoying the refreshing pleasures of American drinks.  It is a drinking party indeed, but no reflected gleams of social happiness dance in their eyes, no glow rising from generous liquor warms their cheeks.  They suck chalybeate water through glass tubes.  I could have depicted the sulphur-drinking parties; but, seeing their countenances, I abstained - alike from drawing and drinking."
ILLUSTRATION AND TEXT FROM 
GRAPHIC PICTURES
(1883)
by RANDOLPH CALDECOTT (1846-1886)

The R C Soc UK visited Harrogate, in Randolph's footsteps, for their 2002 Weekend: their visit was arranged to coincide with the Antiquarian Book Fair being held there.  

Click to enlarge (32 kB).  Click to enlarge (34 kB).
Our Secretary, Kenn Oultram, studying the exhibit at the North Yorkshire Library.

Here is our reporter's personal view of the event:

Click to enlarge (45 kB).The hotel was "of receding elegance".  The staff were from Spain, Poland, Italy, etc.  Few could speak, or understand English and the food, especially the vegetables, were not a la dente but raw!   The service was so slow that it became almost farcical and we were all in fits of laughter, imagining what Randolph would have sketched.

The bookfair was superb but our arrangements meant that the AGM took place at 9.30.am and the bookfair queues were snaking around the entrance hall of the hotel whilst we were in session.   It was so frustrating that I felt that I wanted to play hookey from the meeting.

Nevertheless, my friendly bookseller had kept the copy of "Owls" for me, £65 in very poor wraps but the illustrations are wonderful.  I also managed to find and purchase a copy of "Mr Chumley's Holidays."

It was so windy on Sunday, that we almost all went to "art at Harewood", a wonderful exhibition of "the anatomy of the horse”, drawings by George Stubbs.

Click to enlarge (53 kB).Then we took a tour of Harewood.  It was quite an exceptionally beautiful house and collection of works of art.

The local historian, Malcolm Neesam, gave us a lecture on "Harrogate, as in the times of Caldecott", which really was very interesting.   It was so nice to visit the Pump Room afterwards and to see a very small display of his works.  Alongside this, another cabinet displayed works by Walter Crane.

  Click to enlarge (42 kB).  Click to enlarge (43 kB).  Click to enlarge (84kB).
The display in the Royal Pump Room, Harrogate.

We are most grateful to our member George Fowler for organising this event and for these photos, and to Barbara Howard for the report reproduced above.

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