Eric Ravilious – June

Seventh Heaven

Yes, I’m in seventh heaven with the June image on my Ravilious calendar. The picture is called ‘Tea at Furlongs’. It was painted in 1939 – the summer before the war and 15 years before I came to know Furlongs, Here’s the calendar picture.


In 1939 and in the 50s and 60s when I knew Furlongs it was a lady called Mrs Richards who rented the bulk of the Shepherd’s cottage. The Shepherd, Dick Freeman, retained one room for his own use and, in truth, that was the only part of the cottage I went in with any regularity. I saw and talked to Mrs Richards, who like Eric Ravilious was an artist, quite often. As an artist she was known as Peggy Angus. Eric was a friend of Peggy’s and often stayed at the cottage.

This picture just makes the memories flood back. It’s a wonderful image that seems to sum up the peace and tranquillity of life in that era. The truth was, perhaps that the Furlongs artistic community were a somewhat Bohemian bunch of people but Mrs Richards and others I met all seemed honest and decent enough.

Sadly, I never had a chance to meet Eric Ravilious for the great man was killed whilst working as a war artist. But what a legacy he left behind.


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