Monday, 18 February 2013

Shaftesbury House, Cambridge

Shaftesbury House, 4 Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge was a hotel in the 1920s. The former hotel is now called Lutheran Church House and occupied by the German Lutheran Church.

Lowry refers to a visit to the hotel during his time at the The Leys in a letter to Carol Brown dated 2nd June 1926 to see whether he could find somewhere for Carol Brown to stay on a proposed visit to Cambridge:

"So I rallyed round some - and eventually ran to earth a sort of Look-at-our-tennis-court-nice-bathroom place, with a thin manageress with positively no teeth at all: bearing the intriguing title of 'Shaftsbury House' in (what is not altogether unexpected) Shaftesbury Road - There are trees in Shaftesbury Road. Willow trees? I am not sure. Anyhow trees. And a man in white painting gates green.

Well at any rate, I popped into this place and saw the manageress and the tennis court and a bedroom and a full set of magazines.

And some washing spread over the tennis court to dry - which gave quite an expressionist effect." (Collected Letters Vol 1 Pg. 38)

Lowry's use of the term expressionist is worthy of note demonstrating his knowledge of modernist movement  as early as 1926 when he was 15 years old.

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