There’s a special exhibition of Ralph Hedley’s paintings at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, until 2 November 2013, but here’s some stuff about the famous Tyneside artist you won’t find in the exhibition.

First of all Ralph Hedley’s not from Tyneside. He was born in the north Yorkshire village Gilling West , and, though he lived in Newcastle from about 18 months old until he died in 1913, he said that he always thought of himself as a Yorkshireman.

The Farrier’s Arms in Gilling West was the first house he lived in. The last was in Bellegrove Terrace, Spital Tongues, Newcastle, and on 14 June 2013 it will be 100 years since Ralph Hedley died there.

The house in Bellegrove Terrace has a blue plaque commemorating Hedley, but it is empty now and starting to fall to bits. Years ago the house was taken over by the Bellegrove Hotel next door, and now both buildings have been abandoned.

Ralph Hedley’s grand-daughter remembered him at Bellegrove Terrace.

“I stayed at Belle Grove Terrace quite often and went with RH on what he called his “constitutional” before breakfast, a walk up the terrace and through the iron gates at the top. I can remember very clearly that he wore knee breeches and fine black stockings and red morocco slippers. I was knee high to a gnat then and very close to the flapping slippers which had no backs on them.”

2 Responses to RALPH HEDLEY

  1. Dennis Cory says:

    Your detailed note about Ralph Hedley is a helpful memory of personal details; his morning constitutional, walking in red slippers with no backs, knee breaches and black stockings. Now I can far better picture the him in his times. I have owned a delightful painting by Hedley, ever since I was a harp music student. It is of Lloyd George as a Druid playing Harp, and was a Punch cartoon Sep 21, 1910.

    • John Millard says:

      Hi Dennis.

      Thank you so much for the information on your Ralph Hedley picture. It sounds really interesting.

      How big is it? could you please send a measurement of the picture’s height and width? If you can measure the picture not the frame that is best.

      Is there a signature or other writing on the picture or the frame? Could you please make a note of any writing?

      Lastly, you say that you have photos. Could you send a photo please?

      It’s very exciting to know about your picture. I hope you don’t mind me asking for more information about it… and a photo!


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