Thursday, 12 January 2017

Reginald Whistler – muralist for the Aero Café at the Granville Marina, Ramsgate - guest post By Ben Kelly.

Reginald Hector Whistler was born in 22 January 1905, in St. Clement, Jersey, Channel Islands, of parents Frederick Herbert Whistler and Blanche Whistler.  He was recorded in the 1911 census as living at Rouen House, St Saviours along with his parents and his younger sister Dorothy.
He studied at the Slade School and also in principle art centres throughout Europe. Much of his work has been done in Jersey, where he was responsible for the decorative panels in the Council Chamber and a decorative map of Jersey which was presented to the Duke of Windsor.  He is particularly well known for his works on glass, including those at the concert hall at Scarborough.
He married Hilda Marjorie Buller (nee Ward-Price) in 1956.  Hilda was born in about 1898.  She was originally married to John Archibald Redvers Buller in 1922, but they divorced in 1927.  Reginald Hector Whistler was the first cousin of Reginal John (Rex) Whistler, the well-known British artist, designer and illustrator.
In 1934 he was commissioned by Tomson and Wotton to decorate the Granville Marina dance hall known then as the Aero Café.  The Granville Marina was completed by Edmund Davis in 1877.  He painted the design directly onto brick and plaster using cheap distemper colours and worked for a weekly wage whilst undertaking this work.  The mural includes, amongst many others, scenes of: Queen Elizabeth visiting Sandwich, the Marina in 1880 and views of Old Ramsgate.
He was asked again in 1937 by Tomson and Wotton to create a design for the arched ceiling of the Lounge Bar of the Licenced premises at the Ramsgate Marina.   The whimsical design is characteristic of Mr. Whistler's work.
He travelled frequently between England and Jamaica in later years, and is reported to have died in Jamaica in 1978.
The image is a reproduction (specially drawn for the "East Kent Times") of the artist's design for the ceiling of the lounge bar of licensed premises at the Ramsgate Marina.  It is to be carried out in green, gold, black and red.

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