Sampson Society

No 19, January 2016

Christmas Drinks at Trow Hall were again very much enjoyed courtesy of Nicky and Graham Davies, our hosts and we send a huge thank you to both of them.

Monday 7th March 2016 (150th Anniversary of Sampson’s birthday) – Commemoration of Sampson, Arts Centre Grounds. 

The Mill Stone at the Arts Centre has been moved, work is proceeding on necessary ground work and Michael Gordon-Lee is working towards the Engraved Stone being in place in good time for our Memorial Stone Ceremony to be conducted by Rev Robin Laird on Monday 7th March at 11.30 followed by a short Drinks Reception at 12 noon in the Bar of the Manor Pavilion. 

We have invited several Guests including representatives of EDDC, the Town Council, the Sid Vale Association and R W Sampson’s grandchildren, together with a National Council Member and two regional Chairman of RIBA. 

As a result, numbers are very limited for all our members to attend and an e-mail of invitation to apply for a complimentary ticket will be sent to you.  If you have made a pledge, you will receive a separate invitation and will not have to apply for a ticket.  We do hope that you will understand that applications will have to be on a first come, first served basis for members and partners only. 

There should be enough tickets for everyone who wants to, to attend our Annual lunch – details follow!

Friday 11th March 2016 – Annual Lunch, Victoria Hotel 12 noon for 12.30.  We expect you will be as delighted as we are to announce that Miss Julia Creeke will again be our Speaker at the Lunch on the subject of ‘Salcombe Regis’.  As it happens R W Sampson’s grave is in Salcombe Regis Churchyard.  Tickets for a 3-course lunch including coffee and mints will be £25 and will be on sale from Friday 5th February to Friday 4th March at Sidsoft in Church Street or by post from Alan Weaver using the form at the end.

A feature on Sampson’s Cinemas follows, written by Martin Mallinson.

SAMPSON’S CINEMAS 

Whilst Sampson may be highly regarded for his Arts and Crafts houses, he also applied his skills to the design of the full range of other buildings in the town. Amongst his many commercial buildings Sampson was closely involved in the provision of early cinema in Sidmouth.

He designed the first purpose built cinema, which was created from the old Belle Vue Restaurant (the ‘Knights’ building, now Fat Face). On opening in February 1913, the Sidmouth Herald marvelled at the technical and architectural detail of the cinema, and remarked that “this building has been designed by Mr R W Sampson, whose untiring energy has done much toward making the result so fine”.

Whilst much of the detail of the building was lost when converted to retail some years later, the ornate plasterwork frieze of the auditorium can still be seen inside the Fat Face shop.

Some years later Sampson grasped the opportunity to design a completely new cinema building. The Grand Cinema (now the Chattery and adjacent units) was opened in 1929. 

Sampson’s first design (1927) had an Arts and Crafts flavour, but this was later abandoned. The final design might be described as a toned down version of Art Deco, a style that was particularly popular in cinema buildings of this era.

               Sampson’s original design for the Grand (1927) and the cinema as built (1929).

Sadly, the building was destroyed by fire in the 1950’s. The façade was retained, although the canopy and central tower, very much features of the original building have been removed.

Members of the Society may be interested in attending the SVA talk at the Manor Pavilion on Wednesday 9th March 2016 when Dr Rosalind Leveridge will give a presentation on the history of cinema in Sidmouth - sure to be a reference to Sampson!

(Thanks to Sidmouth Museum for information used in this article.)

 

 

COMMITTEE

 

Chairman            Derek Parry             01395 516150  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice-Chairman   Edmund Harrison     01395 514430  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Treasurer            Alan Weaver                        01395 519123  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Secretary            Sylvia Brownlee       01395 514011  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Membership Sec         Pamela Gordon-Lee    01395 578267  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members            Martin Mallinson    01395 519070  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                           Stephen Jellyman     01395 513606  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Secretary, 3 Fortfield Chambers, Sidmouth EX10 8NY

e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Tel: 01395 514011 www.rwsampson.com