Coast views in Leslie Ward book

Those who missed the recent Leslie Ward exhibition at the St Barbe Museum in Lymington will enjoy the catalogue which has been published as stand alone book.

An English Idyll: Leslie Moffat Ward: Paintings and Prints (Sansom £15) has many views of Bournemouth and Poole.

The artist, always known in life as Leslie Ward, was a student in 1903 at Drummond Road art school and in 1913 was a member of teaching staff when the Bournemouth Municipal College of Art opened at The Lansdown.

Fascinating drawings reproduced in the book include Boscombe Beach in summer 1911 showing the old pier and tents where there is now a promenade. Another shows the sandy Boscombe cliff top in 1913.

Best of all maybe is a watercolour of the bay from Durley Chine. The print can be purchased for £10 at the new Tourist Information Centre at the Pier Approach.

In addition there are drawings of Purbeck farms and London’s River Thames.

Not in the book, but often reproduced, is the drawing of Robert Louis Stevenson’s house at the top of Alum Chine before it was hit by wartime bombing. Leslie Ward knew Bournemouth and coast very well.

He lived in Grants Avenue and was often seen around the town in the post war years until his death in 1978. He never drove a car so used the Bournemouth trolley buses and green Hants & Dorset buses.

Although he exhibited at the Royal Academy, where he had also trained, he has only been really recognised beyond his home area after death. Indeed the South Bank’s Hayward Gallery was unaware of the date of his death when his was displayed there in an Arts Council exhibition.


About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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