Frank Tingey and the Barking
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 again.
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”. Shortl
y 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
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). All are illustrated and briefly described below:
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.
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.