Thursday, 17 May 2012

Carol Brown

Carol Brown and her family lived at Hilthorpe, Caldy about 400 metres from Lowry's childhood home Inglewood. Hilthorpe was built roughly the same time as Inglewood both being part of the development of Caldy in the early 20th Century by the Caldy Estates. Lowry met the Brown family in 1919 after they rescued him following an accident on his bike on Kings Drive, Caldy. (See Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 22.)

Lowry became friendly with the family including Carol’s 2 younger brothers Colin and Maurice playing at their house. Lowry would have reached her house via an ancient lane called Fleck Lane opposite Inglewood, which crossed Caldy Common.

Carol was 18, a year older than Lowry and attending Liverpool City School Of Art when he began writing to her. By that time he had become infatuated with her after going for a walk with her in April 1926. Lowry was still attending the Leys School in Cambridge and would have only seen Carol during school holidays.

Seventeen letters from Lowry to Carol Brown survive. These letters are amongst the earliest examples of Lowry’s writing revealing many of the qualities and interests that would be developed his maturity. Sherill Grace identifies that Lowry is “articulate and eloquent, but his darker side is visible in his incipient drinking, his vulnerability, and his intense concern with the self.” (Collected Letters Vol. 1 Pg. 7.)


  1. Carol was the middle child, not the eldest, of Ted and Nell Brown, Maurice being the eldest and Colin the youngest. Colin went to the Leys school, Cambridge, whilst Maurice went to Sedbergh in Yorkshire where he met Edgar Hyde who was to marry Carol. Ted Brown built Hilthorpe around 1912 at the same time as his brother Will (who married Nell's sister Eva)was building 'Roughlands' in the village of Thurstaston, a couple of miles from Caldy, on the main A540 road down the Wirral - another beautiful house, with a spectacular view of the Dee Estuary. I know all this because I am Carol's daughter!

  2. Hi Diana

    Thanks for dropping by and providing the information. If you have time I have a few questions I would like to ask - you can contact me - cheers Colin