Saturday, 11 April 2015

Hilda Annie Ivall (1910-99): Artist

Hilda Annie Ivall was a granddaughter of William Ivall (1859-1940), who was a brother of my great grandfather George Ivall (1853-1932). She was born on August 1st 1910 in Hampstead, North London, the second of four children born to William Charles Ivall (1883-1968) and his wife Florence Bessie nee Endean (1885-1960). Doris’s siblings were Doris Rose (1908-2007), Leonard Fordham (1912-91) and Dennis Endean (1921-2006). Hilda’s father worked his way up from being a clerk to an accountant with Nobel’s explosives. He ended his career as joint managing director of an ICI subsidiary.

The 1911 census shows William Charles Ivall (aged 27, a book-keeper), his wife Florence Bessie (25) and daughters Doris Rose (2) and Hilda Annie (8 months) living at 87 Constantine Rd, Hampstead. There were also 2 boarders at the address. The family were still living in Hampstead in 1912 but had moved to Chingford (also in North London) by 1921. Hilda’s mother came from a Cornish family and they often visited Cornwall for holidays.

Hilda with her parents and siblings.
From left : Leonard, Doris, William, Florence, Dennis and Hilda Ivall

I was sent this info on Hilda her by her nephew (a son of Hilda’s brother Dennis).

My aunt, Hilda Ivall, worked for ICI before and during the war.  Later she ran the Seagull Cafe on the cliffs above St.Agnes in Cornwall (which my grandparents took over from her) and held other jobs (I remember visiting her at an old people's home in Tiverton, where she was matron, c1959). After my grandmother died in 1960 she cared for my grandfather, at his bungalow in Barnstaple initially and from c1963 at her bungalow, The Croggan, Polberro, St.Agnes, which we used to visit for holidays.  Sometime after my grandfather's death in 1968, she moved into St.Agnes itself and late in life inherited a larger bungalow there from her friend (of ICI days) Wyn Dearman.

She painted for many years, mainly abstracts based on the colours and forms of Cornish minerals, working with oils and palette knife on large canvases, although in later years she specialised in watercolours of flowers.  She often exhibited locally and was at one time Chairman of Perranporth Art Society. Other interests, at various times, included pottery, poetry and playing the piano, flute and organ.

The 1939 national register shows Hilda, an index clerk, living at 73 Baylis Road, Slough in the household of a family called Allen. Winifred M Dearman , born 7.2.1908, a shorthand typist, is shown at the same address.

The item below is from the archives of Tate Britain. Fletching is a village in Sussex.


Tate Britain also have the catalogue for an exhibition of Hilda’s work held at 16 Woodstock St, Mayfair in 1962. I have a photocopy of an abstract painting by Hilda that was submitted to the Biennale in Italy, a prestigious exhibition.

Electoral registers show that in 1947 Hilda was living at a house called Llangibby in Tennyson Road, Hendon, London.

Telephone directories have the following addresses for Hilda

1948-57
Pol Major, St Agnes
1970-71
The Croggan, Polberro, St Agnes
1972-75
6b Churchtown, St Agnes
1976-87
51 Goonown, St Agnes
1992
1 Wheal Quoit Ave, St Agnes


Probate records say that Hilda died on November 3rd 1999 and that her address was Tre-Wyn, 1 Wheal Quoit Ave, St Agnes, Cornwall. She was 89.

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