Thursday, 28 March 2013

Invitation to the Boat Race

This Sunday (March 31st) sees the 159th annual boat race between crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, held between Putney and Mortlake on the Thames.  This exciting event is a highlight of Britain's sporting calendar - although this year's cold weather might make watching it from the riverside a rather chilly experience!

The best views of the race are probably held by those lucky enough to live on the banks of the Thames, such as Harold Stabler (1872-1945), who lived at 34 Upper Mall in Hammersmith.  This invitation was from the Stablers to Rex Silver and his wife and probably dates from some time in the 1930s.  The Silver Studio, headed by Rex, was just round the corner in Brook Green, Hammersmith.

Boat Race Invitation,
 Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University(SE506)

Harold Stabler was a designer who created posters for London Underground, some charming ventilation grilles for stations at the northern end of the Piccadilly line, and a number of tile schemes for underground stations, produced by Poole Pottery.  His wife Phoebe was an accomplished designer and ceramicist who also worked for Poole.  This boat race invitation hints at the community of artists and other creative people who lived and worked in Hammersmith.  It would be fascinating to find out who else might have attended, this party, and to know more about the personal and professional connections that the Silver Studio had in the local area.  If anyone knows more we'd love to hear from you!

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