Saturday 6 August 2011

Difficulties mastered are opportunities won

The quote in the title of this post is one from Winston Churchill.  My difficulties this week started with the fact the only card that remotely links with the Sepia Saturday theme this week is one I found with a statue of Winston Churchill on The Green at Westerham in Kent.  My opportunities lay in finding out why he was there, because I don't know the area at all.

I very quickly discovered that the Churchill statue is in recognition of the fact that he lived at nearby Chartwell, from 1922 until his death in 1965.  When I realised that, I was able to pull out two more cards of Chartwell itself, now owned by the National Trust and open to visitors.

This card dates from the 1960s by which time Churchill no longer owned the house.  He had bought it in 1922 but in 1946 he and his wife Clementine were finding it too expensive to run.  At that time a consortium of businessmen bought the property and rented it to the Churchills at a nominal rent.  On their deaths it was to be passed on to the National Trust but in fact Clementine decided to present it to the Trust immediately after Churchill died.

This more recent postcard from Gordon Fraser Gallery published for the National Trust gives a better idea of the red-brick building.

The statue on The Green was unveiled by Sir Robert Menzies in 1969 as recorded by Pathé News.


But Churchill wasn't alone on The Green.  I found earlier cards showing a statue of General James Wolfe, before the arrival of Churchill's statue. 

Wolfe was born in Westerham [updated after Bob's comment].  His statue was unveiled in 1911 on the 250th anniversary of his death.  According to the Dartford Times, on that day there were lunchtime lectures featuring Great British Heroes - and they were held in Chartwell, 11 years before another Great British Hero took up residence.

You might like to visit Sepia Saturday and see how other people have interpreted (or not) the theme this week.
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. This is so neat! I love how you traced everything back and found some much to add to your post. I learned so much.

    Have a wonderful SS,

    Kathy M.

  2. A very enjoyable post. I find statues fascinating anyway, and seeing that one of Churchill on the village green is lovely. Isn’t the Pathe news clip interesting? I played it a couple of times and saw that there was a lady on the right taking pictures - I wonder if they’ll end up on Sepia Saturday one day!

  3. Very interesting, I didn't know Churchill resided in Kent. And what a nice video. I looked at The Green using Google Streetview and it still looks the same!

  4. Very good job Sheila and so through. Loved the cards.

  5. Very interesting post. I can see the Churchill connection but what had Westerham to do with Wolfe? I shall have to check. Chartwell looks better on the older postcard.

  6. The two postcards of Chartwell don't even look like the same building.

  7. I suppose you've already done more than enough research for one post, but I was wondering what they did with poor Wolf's statue? Is it available? eBay? I'd sure like to have a statue of a famous person, if it is reasonably priced. Oh! I do hope they didn't melt him down for Churchill!

    Your other pictures seem to show a different location, so Wolf is probably still intact, though.

  8. Nice spin of the theme. Statues of unlikely personages always make a place more interesting.

  9. What an interesting tale. I have never been to Chartwell, your post has helped to convince me that I really ought to head that way.

  10. Great post! I love statues on greens. They invite you to sit and be still with them, something you can't always do if they're located somewhere more "busy." Thanks for sharing all the information and the great postcards!

  11. That red brick building is fascinating. The wall structure looks like a grand place for birds to nest each year. Sort of a birdie condo.

  12. i like how you linked the title quote and your subject. difficulties mastered indeed!!

  13. I did a total doubletake when I saw this post!! I lived in Westerham when I first arrived in England in July 2007! I've been trying to convince my husband to take me back for years for the beef pie that they serve at that pub.

  14. Thank you all for your comments.

    Bob, I have updated the post with the Wolfe information.

    Max, both statues are still there but I don't have a card showing both.

    Emm, I had no idea you had lived in Westerham! So it's worth a visit just for the beef pies. I will take note. :)

  15. A Great Bit Of Detective Work!


Welcome to my postcard collection! I love hearing what you think of the cards - but spam WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...