Sampson Society

Newsletters


No 20, May 2016

What an exciting day Monday 7th March turned out to be for our Commemoration of R W Sampson, held in the Arts Centre Grounds.

Michael Gordon-Lee worked tirelessly to have the Engraved Stone in place in good time for our Memorial Stone Ceremony which was conducted by the Reverend Robin Laird. The Sidmouth Herald did us proud and we seem to feature on 3 different pages! Thank you especially to stonemason Simon Stevens of Stoneycombe Quarry.

The event was followed by a short Drinks Reception in the Bar of the Manor Pavilion for members and invited 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.

We received many notes of thanks and our Membership Secretary, Pamela Gordon-Lee has made up the following Collage of Comments.

....Sincere thanks all of the Sampson Committee, it was a lovely occasion. And the sun even came out! I want to say how magnificent the stone is, all the hard work has paid off handsomely. It looks perfect, and a perfect place for it too - it looks like it belongs. (Society Member)

-----
....A beautiful stone and perfectly commemorated with the sunshine bursting

out just after the reading from Rev. Robin Laird. A very fitting project for Keith Owen Fund support – I am glad it has gone so well. (Chairman of Keith Owen Fund)

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It was a very special day for us , and I still find it astonishing that Sidmouth has remembered my Grandfather in the way that it has, and the society seems to go

from strength to strength... (Grandson) ------

...That was a very nice ceremony today and a convivial mingling afterwards. Well done. (Society Member)

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....Rich praise is deserved for all the efforts that brought together the successful day.....even the sun came out just in time......

The future only comes from a single source and that is the past....it is special indeed that the citizens of Sidmouth and the visitors to your fine town can rejoice at an architectural heritage so profound in its forging of community, so appealing in its timeless charm, and so cherished by the unstinting endeavours of your members.

The Memorial bears lasting witness to the architectural achievements of
R W Sampson and will excite interest and engagement in appreciating Sidmouth's built heritage......the man your Society honours has bequeathed you a legacy that in architectural terms is distinctive, harmonious and expressive of the spirit of the age in which he and Sidmouth prospered.......the hallmark upon which your oh so important visitor economy is founded and within which your strength of community resides...... (RIBA
Council Member)

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To top the week, we had our Annual Lunch at the Victoria Hotel on the Friday

following where Miss Julia Creeke was our fascinating Speaker on the subject of ‘Salcombe Regis’.

Appreciation Visit – Thursday 19th May at 10.30am £2.50. John and Sue Maynard have invited the Sampson Society for an appreciation visit to their home, No 1, Lodge Orchard, Cotmaton Road. The original house belonged to Mrs Trump of grocery store, Trumps of Sidmouth and was converted to four flats many years ago. There is no parking available at Lodge Orchard, so it is suggested you park in Manor Road Car Park and take the following directions.

On leaving on foot into Manor Road, with your back to the sea, take the second lane on the left marked Orchard Close, Private Road leading to Runnymead etc. Proceed up that lane with Runnymede on the right hand side and take the Gate marked Private Road, No Public Access on which there will be a Sampson Society sign.

Proceed on the stepping stone path till it changes to earth only. On the right is a green fence with a gate, on which there will be a Sampson sign. This is the rear entrance to 1 Lodge Orchard. Open that gate, walk through the garden to the front door to the left of the house.

OR

You can try and park somewhere in Cotmaton Road walk up, past Witheby and No 1, Lodge Orchard is on your left. To confirm, there is no parking available in Lodge Orchard.

Please e-mail Sylvia Brownlee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) - preferred or telephone 01395 514011 to book a place for the Appreciation Visit. Numbers will be restricted to 30 and a note has already been sent to those on the waiting list left over from our last Appreciation Visit.

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Summer Garden Party

Sunday 24th July, 3pm to 5.30pm. Members Tom and Laura Griffiths have invited us to their (Sampson) home, Greenway House, Greenway Lane, Sidmouth for a Sunday afternoon Garden Party. Details are still to be finalised, but please keep the date, as they say in USA. Tickets will be priced at £12.50 and will be on sale from Monday 13th June from Sidsoft in Church Street and Alan Weaver by e-mail (address below) or by post to Nutbourne, Boughmore Road, Bickwell Valley, Sidmouth EX10 8SH.

‘Property’ of the Month

It has to be our new Memorial Stone! The photograph below is of Simon Stevenson, Stonemason being presented with Sylvia Brownlee’s book ‘Sampson’s Sidmouth’ as a small thank you for his outstanding work.

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 

 

THE SAMPSON SOCIETY
MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER
 

Membership is open to all those interested in the life and work of

R W Sampson, LRIBA Architect

                                                                                    No 21, September 2016

 

We have had a lovely summer with an Appreciation Visit in May, courtesy of John and Sue Maynard and a Summer Garden Party, courtesy of Tom and Laura Griffiths.  Our thanks go to both couples for hosting these most enjoyable occasions.

Scout Hut – In our September 2015 Newsletter, the original Scout Hut was featured, having been designed by Sampson and opened in 1915.  In the course of researching the history of that old building, Martin Mallinson came across a remarkable report of its opening in the Sidmouth Observer of 20 January 1915.  We had three copies of that report made and framed.  One is in the Society’s archives, one was given to the current owners of the old building and the third one was made for presentation to the present 1st Sid Vale Scouts.

On 20th August this year our Chairman, Derek Parry, had the pleasure of attending the formal opening of the new Scout HQ in the Salcombe Regis Recreation Field, which is at the top of Salcombe Hill Road.  He presented a framed copy of the Report which gives a short history of Scouting in Sidmouth.

Enquiries – we receive about two enquiries a month about whether a house is a Sampson house or could we provide some history about a house.  Martin Mallinson deals with those with his usual detailed approach to research.

AGM – our 7th AGM is coming up on Monday 17th October at the Kingswood Hotel on the Esplanade at 6pm.  This is usually a short convivial event with complementary wine and a chance to chat after the formal proceedings.  This year, the committee in toto comes up for re-election for the next two years.  If anyone wishes to stand for the committee, could you please let Sylvia Brownlee know by e-mail by Monday 10th October.  The present committee are happy to carry on. 

Christmas Drinks - Sunday 11th December 2016 – Noon.  Christmas Drinks at Trow Hall, courtesy of Nicki and Graham Davies.  An e-mail will be sent out mid-October with further details about buying tickets at £12.50 which will go on sale on Tuesday 1st November.

Plaques – we recently placed an order for a further quantity of plaques which are on sale at £35 from Stephen Jellyman whose details are below.

Annual Lunch – Friday 10th March 2017 at The Victoria Hotel

We are very hopeful to have as our 'after lunch speaker' Jonathan Ball MBE, Architect and a Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, who some of you will have met when he represented the President of RIBA at our Sampson Memorial ceremony last March.  Qualifying as an architect, Jonathan set up his practice in his home town of Bude, and was appointed MBE for Services to Architecture in 1992. 

Welcome to new Members this year

Denese Molyneux of Molyneux Financial Planning – Corporate Member

Helen Douglas of Sidsoft in Church Street

James and Gillian Greenlees

Michael James of Kennaway House

Andrew Ridler and Olivia Tatton-Brown

Wendy and Ernest Shipton

Anne Dawson

 

Corporate Members – our corporate members support us by paying an annual subscription, rather than life membership, for which we are very grateful.  They are listed below and some have particular knowledge and experience of Sampson houses which you may find useful.

Skinner Construction              Phil Tucker, www.skinner-construction.com

Sidmouth Design                     Edward Willis-Fleming, www.sidmouthdesign.co.uk

Sidmouth Museum                 Nigel Hyman, Curator.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Sidmouth Club                 The President, 10 Fortfield Terrace

Molyneux Financial Planning Denese Molyneux, www.molyneuxfp.co.uk

 

Change of circumstances – please e-mail our membership secretary, Pamela Gordon-Lee if you have a change of address, e-mail etc.

 

Sampson’s 1922 Plan of the Bickwell Valley Estate (it is not possible to reproduce the Plan here)

By the end of the nineteenth century the Sidmouth Manor Estate owned all of the land in the Bickwell Valley area. The Bickwell Valley Road was built by the Estate in 1900 in order to open up the land holding for housing development. The first three houses were built the following year. Designed by Sampson and built by Messrs RW & J Skinner, they set the scene for the type of development to follow. Most of the houses, all designed by Sampson, were built by 1920. They were sold on long leaseholds of 999 years, with annual rents usually between £4 and £10, depending on the date of sale and size of plot.

In the early 1920’s the Manor Estate decided to offer the freeholds to individual house owners. Sampson was commissioned in 1922 to prepare a plan of the Estate’s ownership, which was then used in the documentation for each sale. A copy of the plan is attached to this newsletter. It shows the Estate’s ownership coloured pink together with each individual plot. Some of the plots were still vacant, awaiting development. Indeed the plan indicates that there were proposals at the time for additional roads on the western side of the Valley to service further development. In the event, these roads were never built.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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