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Frank Tingey's Drawings

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Frank Tingey’s Drawings


Frank & Clem Tingey
St. Margaret’s Church, Barking 1990


Front Cover: Barking Curfew Tower  
Inside Front Cover: Frank & Clem Tingey 1990  
Title Page  
Francis J. H. Tingey 1917-2012  
Frank’s Art  
Inside Back Cover: Origanum ‘Barbara Tingey’  
Back Cover: Great Warley Church  



In the spring of 2013 Mrs. Dorothy Lockwood, John Blake and I were discussing ideas to celebrate the Barking and District Historical Society’s 80th  anniversary in 2014. One suggestion was to produce a commemorative booklet. I suggested that we could perhaps reproduce some of Frank Tingey’s delightful pen and ink line drawings. Frank was a local architect and a highly accomplished artist.  He produced many beautiful and distinctive sketches which he often reproduced for use as Christmas cards, notelets and tea towels.

Dorothy and John agreed it would be a fine tribute to Frank to make his artwork more accessible to a wider audience, together with a short account of his life. His drawings, as would be expected from a professional architect, show his love for old buildings,  particularly churches and domestic architecture. Frank’s drawings show great insight and imagination. He could recreate scenes such as the heyday of Barking Abbey in 1500 or the 1762 wedding of Captain James Cook.

Thanks are especially due to Mrs. Lockwood for her complete support and generous commitment to this project. She and her late husband Bert were long-time close friends of Frank’s. Dorothy kindly readily loaned copies of Frank’s drawings  for reproduction and has been in regular contact with his widow Clem and family who encouraged the production of this tribute to Frank. Douglas Muid, who was also a friend of Frank’s, both met and volunteered at Eastbury House, also kindly loaned  material.

Finally, Frank’s pictures are largely self-explanatory, but a few very brief notes have been added. It is hoped that as we celebrate our 80th anniversary this publication  will engender a greater understanding and appreciation of Frank Tingey’s drawings.
Bill George        1st August 2014

Francis John Herbert Tingey  A.I.A.A., A.I.A.S.
14th  April 1917 - 24th January 2012

Frank was born on 14th April 1917 in Bayswater, the only child of Francis Hall Tingey (18th September 1890 - 13th March 1957), a tobacco presser and cutter, and May Edith Humphreys  (1894 - 14th November 1983) who had married at Christ Church, South Hackney on 2nd April 1916. Frank's father was one of 11 children. His parents are buried in Rippleside Cemetery, Barking, plot R/S/C/51.  father’s effects were valued at £3,540  for probate purposes in 1957 whilst his mother’s estate was valued at £44,460 when she died in 1983. Frank's grandfather, Thomas Henry Tingey (1855-1893) was a neck tie cutter while his great grandfather, another Thomas Henry Tingey (20th October  1835 - December 1882), was a silk weaver who became a leather dealer. His great-great grandfather, Henry Tingey was also a silk weaver. Dexterity of hand was obviously in Frank's blood.

The family moved to Barking in 1930 where Frank's father worked in a tobacco factory in Barking Road. By 1935 they were living at 4 Ventnor Gardens, opposite Barking Park. Frank attended Park Modern School, where he took a keen interest in playing rugby.   then studied at Barking Abbey Grammar School until he left in 1934. Frank took a keen interest in his old school, became a life member of the Old Barkabbeyans Association and always avidly read their magazine.

Frank enrolled as a student with the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1943. He qualified as an architect in 1949 when his submitted thesis earned him a distinction. Frank also practised as a surveyor and went on to design the Grange Farm complex  in Chigwell and the Kitsons Factory in the Barking Road. His practice was known as Tingey Associates. Frank was living at 4 Ventnor Gardens in the 1950’s. In 1956 he had an office at 29A Longbridge Road. In the 1970’s he was living at Lyndhurst  Gardens. He was a very intelligent and gifted man. Frank was passionate about art and continued drawing his beautiful Christmas cards, depicting scenes in Barking and Essex – until fairly recently. His beautiful watercolour and pen and ink sketches  are well known and will remain a testimony to his ability. Frank was also a keen cyclist and had a particular fondness for Yorkshire and the Lake District. He would often take his bicycle on the train, sometimes sleeping under hedgerows, so that he could  explore countryside. Frank had a wonderful memory and could instantly recall the numbers of all the B Roads and the cost of rail journeys.

Frank took a keen interest in his local community and played a full part in the Barking Rotary Club and Historical Societies.  Mr. and Mrs. Tingey joined the Barking and District Historical Society in 1986. Frank could be relied upon to give constructive comments on various matters that arose. He was a member of the Barking Arts Council and helped organise the Barking Pageant.  Frank was always reliable. Until 10 years ago he was still giving tours of Eastbury House.

Frank married Joyce E.F. Pratt (1922-2001) in 1943. He met his second wife, Barbara Booth (6th November 1930 - 19th January 1988) who came from St. Anne's-on-Sea. They married in 1960 in Lancashire and then lived with Frank's mother May in Ventnor Gardens  until 1972 when they set up their own home nearby at 1 Lyndhurst Gardens.  Both were both keen gardeners and became members the local branch of Alpine Garden Society after visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in 1961. Frank was appointed Secretary of the  Essex Group in 1965 and held the post until 1987. On his retirement he was awarded the Certificate of Honour in recognition of his dedicated service. He became a judge of this society and romantically named a variety of ornamental oregano Origanum  rotundifolium 'Barbara Tingey' after his wife. Sadly, Barbara died after nearly thirty years of marriage.  then married Mrs. Iris J. Hewitt, better known as Clem, in 1990, who he had met in a Barking shop. They married in 1990 and had  a house in Lyndhurst Gardens and a flat in Longbridge Road. Frank thereby gained a new extended family of step children and grandchildren. Frank continued to photograph places of interest and turn them into his own very distinctive pen and ink drawings  which he often used for his Christmas cards.

Frank was a loving husband, a caring and considerate step father and grandfather, a loyal friend and a kind and honourable man, greatly loved by all who knew him. He sadly passed away peacefully on 24th January 2012, aged 94, at King George Hospital.   Funeral Service took place on Monday 6th February 2012 at 12.30pm in a snow blanketed Upminster Cemetery. The dignified service was taken by Canon Dave Wade and included a tribute to Frank prepared by Clem’s daughter Jennie, with the help  of Dorothy Lockwood. Twenty two family and friends braved the inclement weather to pay their respects and celebrate Frank's rich fulfilled life. His mortal remains were laid to rest in the orange brickearth at Corbetts Tey cemetery.

also happy experimenting with shading and shadow to produce, producing different effects. This is shown to good effect with  Eastbury House and Grassington Chapel. Stippling is used in the Brinkburn Priory and Burnsall River Wharf sketches.

Two variants of Eastbury House sketch with different shading and trees removed

In this selection no less than five of the ten churches sketched have a dedication to St. Mary. This apparent bias may reflect their use as Christmas cards.

One coloured sketch of Warley church has been included in this selection. Frank issued this drawing in both plain and coloured states. Although most of the line drawings were executed in fine black ink some were issued in sepia.

We know that Frank was a keen photographer of places of interest. He would then turn his photographs into his own very distinctive pen and ink drawings which he often used for his Christmas cards until fairly recently.

Frank’s was passionate about art and his earlier sketches capture a lost countryside of quite lanes, thatched cottages, smoking chimneys and village churches at the centre of their communities. Although some of the scenes Frank sketched have long since disappeared many remain and it is fascinating to compare his historic images with their present appearance. It is hoped this short appreciation of Frank Tingey and his art will make him and his work readily accessible to a wider audience and encourage interest in aspects of architecture and our beautiful towns and countryside. Frank would surely have approved of these aims.

Barking Abbey
Barking Abbey, which lies just to the north west of St. Margaret’s church, was founded about 666AD by St. Erkenwald, Bishop of London. The present layout records the 12th century building. By the time it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539 it was  the most important nunnery in England.  The Abbey was pulled down in 1541 and the building materials were recycled.  The site was investigated by the 18th century antiquary and Lord of the Manor, Smart Lethieullier (1700-1760). Alfred W. Clapham and Charles  J. Dawson supervised archaeological excavations in 1910. This gave work to the local unemployed. The outline of the Abbey was laid out in low stone walls.

Curfew Tower
The Curfew Tower is the only surviving Abbey building. It was built about 1460 and has been extensively repaired. It has two storeys. The lower floor forms a gateway, originally into the Abbey precinct, but now the churchyard. Inside, on the east wall,  is a worn and damaged finely carved rood, or crucifix, dating from about 1150AD.  The Curfew Tower is an iconic Barking building and figures in various coats of arms.

St. Margaret’s Church
This Grade 1 listed building dates from the 1200’s. The Church Centre was erected in 1991. He produced an impression of the church and abbey in 1500; another showing Captain James Cook’s marriage in 1762 and a drawing of the church and Curfew  Tower sketched in 1976. Frank’s love of the church is clearly shown in his drawings which were reproduced as popular notelets and a tea towel.  

Eastbury House
Frank had a long term passionate interest in Eastbury where he served as a tour guide for many years. The house probably dates from the 1550’s and was built for the mysterious Clement Sisley.  The property was saved from destruction in the 1840's and again in 1918. Fortunately it was acquired by the National Trust who carried out extensive repairs to ensure the survival of this beautiful Elizabethan red brick house.

Barking Manufacturers’ Association
This 1958 sketch shows two, now demolished, mid-nineteenth houses at 16/18 Cambridge Road. The Association had 105 members in 1959.

Cambridgeshire Images

Little St. Mary’s Lane, Cambridge 1950; sketch dated 1992
A planning document issued in 2006 described this Lane as "an ancient street with a long and chequered history". Little St Mary's Lane dates back to at least 1300AD.  It was formerly home to the bargees who brought corn and coal along the river to the  Mill Pool but by the late nineteenth century college servants mainly occupied the dwellings. Today the lane has been gentrified and is a quiet, mainly residential street in the heart of Cambridge. The highly decorative gas lamps, astutely observed and  drawn by Frank, are Grade II listed. The dominating spire is part of the Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street which was built in 1875 to a design by the architect James Cubitt (1836-1912).

St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist Church, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire
The medieval parish church of St. Mary and St. John dates from about 1200 when the chancel, nave and tower were constructed of flint and rubble with some Barnack limestone and clunch [hard chalk] dressings. The south aisle and chapel were added in the  1300’s. The church is in the Early-English style. The western tower, which has a lead-covered needle spire, contains a clock and two bells that were first hung in 1903. Other parts of the grade II* listed building date between the 15th and 19th century. Frank has beautifully framed the church with magnificent trees and neatly clipped hedges.

Hinxton Mill
This picturesque small clapboard watermill straddles the River Cam as it flows northward through the village. Although the present mill was built in the seventeenth century, it is almost certainly the site of the mill mentioned in the Domesday Book of  1086 as being "worth 8 shillings" [40p]. The mill, used for grinding corn, ceased operation in 1955 and fell into disrepair.  The cottage, although occupied by the son of the last miller, was then almost derelict with no mains water supply and a roof  leaking in a dozen places. The mill was restored in the 1980’s and is open to visitors. The cottage is now a private dwelling. Frank has captured the tranquillity of this special place with the watermill’s reflection in the still water of  the mill pool.

Essex Drawings

Blackmore – Priory Church of St. Lawrence 1988
The church was founded in about 1150AD for Augustinian canons and is mainly built in flint rubble. The timber tower, which dates from about 1400, is one of the most impressive in England. The priory was dissolved in 1525. Delicious cream teas are served  monthly inside the stunning timber tower, which contains a five bell carillon, on Sunday afternoons.

Chigwell – King’s Head
Charles Dickens frequently visited Chigwell, which he described in a letter as "the greatest place in the world". He referred to the King’s Head as "a delicious old inn opposite the church" and used it as the model for The Maypole in Barnaby Rudge.  Dickens famously wrote that is was ‘an old building, with more gable ends than a lazy man would care to count on a sunny day’.  It dates from the 17th century, is of three storeys and has jettied upper floors.

Ye Olde King's Head, which was operated as a pub until 2011 was subsequently sold to local resident Lord Sugar's property company Amsprop which now leases the Grade 1 building to the Sheesh Turkish restaurant.

Great Sampford – The Black Bull
This former public house has been converted into a dwelling now known as Bull House. This residence has two floors, a slate roof and tall prominent, decorative chimneys. It is rendered and dates from the 19th century or earlier.  Deeds from 1686 to 1984  are held at Essex Archives in Chelmsford.  Comparing the current building with Frank’s sketch of the old pub reveals several significant changes. Benskins, founded in 1693, was the pre-eminent brewery in Watford, and Hertfordshire's biggest brewer  until its acquisition by Ind Coope in 1957. Benskins Best Bitter continued to be produced in Burton-upon-Trent until it ceased production in 2002.

Great Warley – St. Mary the Virgin
This magnificent Arts and Crafts Art Nouveau church was built between 1902-1904 to a design by Charles Harrison Townsend as a memorial to Arnold Heseltine who died in 1897. This pretty roughcast and buttressed church is framed with trees.

East Horndon - All Saints Church 1987

This picturesque brick church, which is such a familiar site on the north side of the A127, was made redundant in 1970. The church was rebuilt after 1442 and the west tower dates from the 17th century.

Manuden - The Street, Osier House, Old Bakery and Pub 2003

Pevsner, in his Buildings of England, Essex volume states that ‘Manuden has an especially pretty street with timber-framed cottages with jettied upper floors’. Frank has sketched a range of 17th – 18th century   timber-framed and plastered houses of  two storeys with casement  windows some with  glazing bars and leaded  lights.

Ongar – A Corner of Old Ongar

This cluster of timber-framed houses is located at the junction of the High Road and the lane that leads up to St. Martin’s church. Four Vitruvian scroll brackets support the jetty which has the date 1642 carved on a lintel. The adjacent structure  is traditionally the oldest dwelling in Ongar and probably dates from the late 15th century.   

Orsett – St. Giles & All Saints, Church Road

The range of buildings to the left of the bare trees is on the north side of the High Road adjacent to the churchyard. The first, no.6 High Road, is a low 17th century timber frame house. Attached to the west is the 18th century red brick fronted numbers  8 and 10 High Road. Apparently the sliding sash windows are of particular note.

Passingford Bridge – Old Mill 2002

This grade II listed 18th century water mill, is timber framed, weather boarded; and roofed with handmade  red clay tiles.  It is aligned approximately north- south on the south bank of the River Roding, with a brick wheel-housing at the north end.  The mill is three storeys with attics.  The windows are 18th and 19th century casements. The original hoist  mechanism is inside. Passingford mill was converted to turbine operation in the early 20th century with a stationary engine in a brick building to the north of wheel-housing, installed in the 1930’s. The mill was still in use in 1983. Currently  the mill is falling into disrepair.

Stapleford Tawney – St. Mary’s Church 1999

This church is built of flint rubble with limestone dressings. The nave and chancel date to the 1200’s while the belfry is 15th or 16th century. Frank probably visited and sketched this church during the building of the parish room, designed by  Tony Mitchell of Herbert & Partners, in 1998-9.

Stifford – 1938

Frank sketched this tranquil lane with its scattered thatched cottages at Stifford in 1938 on the eve of the Second World War. This scene, which has long since disappeared, was to the west-north-west of the medieval parish church. A photograph of the  17th century twin gabled cottage on the left was published in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4: South East (Plate 15 figure 8) which was published in 1923.

Upminster – St. Laurence Church and Rectory
The impressive rubble walled tower with its leaded and shingled spire dates from the 1200’s. The former H-shaped rectory, which is west of the church and dates from about 1735, is now offices. It is constructed of brick which has now been whitewashed.  The windows have segment-headed windows.

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