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Pictures > Frank Tingey's Drawings

Frank Tingey and the Barking Art Society

Barry Smith

Following his attendance at the splendid 5th Chadwell Heath History Fair on Saturday 18th April 2015 Barry Smith, one of the committee members of the Barking Art Society, contacted the Barking and District Historical Society to kindly inform us of Frank Tingey’s connections with the Barking Arts Society. Members will remember that we produced a booklet about Frank Tingey’s Drawings which was launched as part of our 80th Anniversary Celebrations in September 2014.  Barry has been compiling a history of the BAS from its foundation in February 1951 up to the present time using minutes, press reports, internet sources etc.

Barry’s meticulous researches reveal that  in those early years Frank was one of those who helped the founder members, and was very active in forming and directing how the Barking Art Society was to progress from 1951 through to 1954. Although Frank's art work appears beyond these years he is not seen again on any of the committee meetings.

Frank was very active in the Barking Art Society in the early 1950s. The Society’s minutes record that “On Wednesday the 14th March 1951, Mr. F. J. Tingey A.R.I.B.A. was appointed Vice-chairman, which nomination was seconded and unanimously approved”. Shortly after wards on Wednesday 9th May 1951 “Mr. F. J. Tingey gave a talk to the Barking Art Society entitled “An outline of Architecture” - Pyramids to St. Paul's. Fortunately a press report for this talk survives and records that :-

“From the Pyramids to St. Paul is a far cry and covers many civilisations, but this was a survey covered most admirably by Mr. F. J. Tingey A.R.I.B.A. In his address to the Barking Art Society on Wednesday last at the Central Library. The talk was fully illustrated by the able assistance of Mr. Pyner with his Epidiascope, and to whom much praise is due. It was interesting to note the survival of many architectural features from ancient times that can be traced in buildings standing today, in this country and throughout the world. As the mind travels back through the ages, it is difficult to realise the colossal effort and ingenuity that must have been required to construct the beautiful buildings of the past, the remains of many still stand as a tribute to man but alas, also a possible rebuke and reminder of man's equally colossal greed of conquest and consequent downfall”.

Later at the opening of the Open Air Exhibition, which ran from 1st to 15th September 1951, tribute was paid to “Mr. F. J. Tingey a rising young Architect”. Frank. J. Tingey was elected Chairman of the Society on 13th February 1952 a position he continued to fill in 1953.

The Society’s archive also holds four of Frank’s sketches; St. Mary’s Church, Oxford (1959); South Porch, Coventry Cathedral (1962); Old Amsterdam (1963) and The Gateway, Delft (1964).

Oxford - St. Mary’s Church

Wikipedia tells us that the University Church of St Mary the Virgin (St Mary's or SMV for short) is the largest of Oxford's parish churches and the centre from which the University of Oxford grew. It is situated on the north side of the High Street, and   is surrounded by university and college buildings.

The Decorated spire with its triple-gabled outer pinnacles, inner pinnacles, gargoyles and statues was added in the 1320’s. The spire, which is not shown in the sketch, is claimed by some church historians to be one of the most beautiful in England.

The main body of the church was substantially rebuilt in the Perpendicular style in the later 15th and early 16th century.Frank’s sketch is centred on the south porch. This eccentric baroque porch was built in 1637 and was designed  by Nicholas  Stone (1586/87 – 24 August 1647), master mason to Charles I. It was a gift from Dr Morgan Owen, chaplain to Archbishop Laud and is highly ornate, with spiral columns supporting a curly pediment framing a shell niche with a statue of  the Virgin  and Child, underneath a gothic fan vault. The style was too close to Roman baroque for the puritans of the day and the porch itself was used as evidence in Laud's execution trial, citing its 'scandalous statue' to which one witness saw 'one  bow and another  pray'. The gate piers are original and the wrought iron gates are early 18th century. The bullet holes in the statue were made by Oliver Cromwell's troops.

South Porch, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, Warwickshire

The medieval St Michael's Cathedral was blitzed by enemy action on 14th November 1940. The controversial Grade 1 listed new cathedral was designed by Sir Basil Spence and Arup and constructed, between 1956 and 1962, by Messrs. John Laing using Triassic Hollington sandstone. Frank’s 1962 sketch shows an interesting detail of the then recently completed south porch.

Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, Holland

This delightful scene was sketched by Frank in 1963 and shows the 800 year “old church”, founded about 1213AD. It is accordingly Amsterdam’s oldest building.  This Calvanist church stands in the main red-light district of De Wallen.

The Gateway, Delft, Holland

Frank’s 1964 sketch of the Eastern Gate (Oostpoort) in Delft captures the city’s only surviving gate. This brick Gothic structure was built around 1400 and about a hundred years later the octagonal floor and distinctive spires were added.  The building houses an art gallery and private residence.

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