Monday, 25 January 2010

Very Old Malden

'Crikey', I hear you cry. 'Two Old Malden stories in a row?'

Fear not, normal service will be restored shortly but if you'll forgive me for straying half a mile down the road again there was an very interesting piece (well, OK, a slightly interesting piece) on BBC 1's 'The One Show' this evening about John Millais' famous 1852 painting of Ophelia.

It has long been known (just nod, as I did, and pretend you knew it as well) that the Hogsmill river was used as the background to the painting -  but those who have studied such things have determined that rather than showing  a stretch of the Hogsmill in Ewell, the painting depicts the Hogsmill in Six Acre Meadow in Old Malden (just off Church Road).

If you missed The One Show earlier tonight (or were too disturbed by Adrian Chiles' beard to take in what was happening) then you can catch it here on BBC iPlayer (about 20 minutes in to the programme).

[P.S. Mrs WP insists on watching The One Show every night for its balance of consumer information, investigative journalism and light-heated lifestyle issues. I don't bother watching it when Christine Bleakley is on holiday.]

8 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

FYI - To save sitting through the entire One Show fast forward to 14mins 25 seconds for the feature.

Kathie said...

It's great to be reminded of this lovely painting. My son goes to school in Ewell and I've been boring him for years about how the background for "Ophelia" was painted locally by the Hogsmill River. The location is recognisable even today. I understand that model Lizzie Siddell didn't do too well from that gig though, dying from pneumonia caught from the cold bathwater she had to lie in for the assignment.

Jeffers said...

My understanding is that Ophelia had spent the night down at The Plough, had a skinful and was making her way home in the dark up Church Road (well, Old Malden Lane actually) when she lost her footing, stumbled and ended face up in a ditch. C'mon now, we've all done it.

Jeff said...

Yesterday, they repeated the Ophelia story on BBC One's 'The One Show', you know, the one about how the site for John Millais' famous 1852 pre-Raphaelite painting wasn't the Hogsmill at Ewell after all but according to recent research was the Hogsmill that runs beside Church Road which just about qualifies this masterpiece to have been created inside Worcester Park.

The exact spot is well worth a visit as it's just beside Six Acre Meadow, a magnificent field of wild flowers and grasses that hardly anybody ever visits.

To find the spot, follow the path to the Hogsmill down the side of St Johns Church, Old Malden, cross the bridge (carefully avoiding the dog excrement) and follow the path along the river through a wooded area. Before long you emerge into Six Acre Meadow - keep to the path beside the river until you come to a willow tree and that's the spot Millais chose. (That was before the days when Stella cans and sandwich cartons were normal riverside features).

If you continue to the far end of the Meadow you'll find another bridge that takes you back to Church Road.

Paola said...

Hi there,

We are new to Worcester Park and don't know of any garages in the area. We need to service our car (an old ford fiesta - can anyone recommend a reliable and reasonable local garage? We would be very grateful with any advice. Many Thanks - Paola

The Dutchman said...

Hi Paola,

Not exactly local - but I've used the same garage in Colliers Wood since I lived there 10 years ago.

Very reasonably priced, knowledgable guys. Have recommended to several friends, and they keep going back too.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Paola, Onslow Motors, down the end of Green Lane. Good and friendly service, gave me tips on saving a few quid on a set of rare wheels, and certainly up to the job of a Ford Fiesta service.

Geoff said...

I'm probably a bit late on this, but agree whole heartedly with Gordo's Neighbour. Onslow Motors are excellent.

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