|Artist||John Doman Turner|
|Collection||The Swan Hotel, Southwold|
|Source||The Swan Hotel |
‘Trinity Fair was instigated by the Town Charter of 1489, which entitled Southwold to hold an annual fair on the three days following Trinity Sunday. It’s origins are even older, in a fair held on 30th April, which can be traced back to 1227. The fair is now held on the first Monday in June.
In 1933, Mr J. Doman Turner, a Londoner who used to take his summer holidays in Southwold, decided to make a vast panoramic record of the fair. It took him two years and involved following the showmen to nearby towns and villages (Aldeburgh and Stradbroke, for example) as well as sketching on the spot in Southwold.
Mr Turner was a London stockbrocker who took evening classes at the New English Art Club and was a frequent visitor to the artists colony at Walberswick. In 1930 he painted his first panoramic scroll fo Ferry Road in Southwold (now in the Southwold Museum) and the following year completed a second panorama, of village life in Walberswick. Encouraged by the response to this extraordinary work her embarked on the Trinity Fair Scroll, displayed here, and the completed a final scroll, featuring the travelling circus which used to visit Southwold during the summer. That scroll was purchased for the Theatre Museum in London in the early 1980’s, at the same time that Adnams acquired the Trinity Fair Scroll.
This scroll needed exceptionally careful conservation because of the fragility of the lining paper on which it was painted. That fragility, however, also meant that the work was seldom displayed (there are a few signatures from when it was last on view in the 1950’s) and the colours are still as fresh as when originally applied. Now mounted on special conservation board and protected from ultraviolet. light, it should continue to delight future generations – as a unique record of Southwold life in 1933.’
Written by Simon Loftus
John Doman Turner invited people to sign the scroll
Underneath each section of the Trinity Fair scroll is a space for people’s names. John Doman Turner asked people to add their names to the work, when he met them, and whilst he was drawing and painting them.
We spotted this recently on Instagram. Someone points out that actress Mary Wimbush of The Archers, Jeeves & Wooster, signed her name on the scroll when she was a youngster.
The signatures of John Doman Turner and his wife Francis Elizabeth Turner are also featured on the ‘Trinity Fair’ scroll.
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