SOLE BAY GROUP

? - ?

Between the First and Second World Wars, the Sole Bay Group was one of the most influential in Walberswick's artistic history. Formed in the very early 1930s by Walter Crittall [q.v.] after he had acquired 'Old Farm' from the Seward family in 1928 when he proceeded to modernise this Walberswick farmhouse with his family's famous Crittall windows, his main home was at Silver End, Braintree, Essex where he became a close friend of Sir George Clausen [q.v.] and later they were neighbours at Great Easton, Essex. The Group held regular exhibitions at the Stella Peskett Memorial Hall, Soutwold and at the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, although 'just for fun' they were professionally presented, with proper catalogues and included works by some extremely well-known artists. Crittall was the chairman with Tom Van Oss [q.v.], hon. secretary and treasurer, with members Margaret Alice Delisle Burns [q.v.], Arthur James Wetherall Burgess (1879-1957), Hester Cleminson [q.v.], Gerald Jackson [q.v.], Cecil Lay [q.v.], [Helen] Dorothy Loftus [q.v.] and George Mostyn [q.v.]. The 1933 exhibition featured as guest artists in addition to Sir George Clausen, several artists who were, or would become Royal Academicians: Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown (1866-1955), Thomas Dugdale [q.v.], Ronald Dunlop [q.v.], Sir William Russell Flint (1880-1969), Martin Hardie (1875-1952), Bertram Priestman [q.v.], Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) and Algernon Talmage [q.v.]. Other guest exhibitors include Geoffrey Birkbeck (1875-1954), Amy Browning [q.v.], sister and brother Hilda Anne (1889-1950) and Richard Cotton Carline (1896-1980), Gilbert Spencer [q.v.], Leonard Squirrell [q.v.] and Clifford Cyril Webb (1895-1972). The Group seems to have disbanded or faded away just before the 1939 war.

There was another Sole Bay Artists Group which held an exhibition at The Gallery, Buckenham House, High Street, Southwold from 19 May until 16 June 1989 and a second from 14 July until 4 August. These two groups were unconnected.