Untitled Print by Reginald Mills. Undated.
Canal book ,ephemera and print collectors may be interested in this print from my collection which I recently ‘rediscovered’.
No prizes for guessing the location although ‘artistic license’ and a touch of the ‘Enid Blyton’s’ reigns supreme in the bottom left foreground I feel.!!
Still its an unusual subject and one which many people although they may know the location will not know the boat tied up near to what is now the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne,
The original painting is in the archives of the Salvation Army and this will immediately give a clue to the boats identity especially to canal buffs of a certain age.
I have no idea whether the artist Reginald Mills was a Salvationist or not but I have seen another work of his portraying the Salvation Army in a town centre so he could well have been. As a painter he was active in the 1930 – 50’s period and is very well known for his paintings of the London Blitz .
The boat is of course the ‘Salvo’ with Brigadier Fielding standing in the hatches. The Fielding's ran a mission to the boat people on the Grand Union Canal from 1950 – 1964 and the painting I would think dates from the early 1950’s. Brigadier Fielding had known the boat people from an early age as his parents ran a general store patronised by the boaters at New Bradwell.
Like many I can remember the Fielding's in retirement at their cottage on the offside at Norton Junction. B W had awarded the couple the cottage rent free as an acknowledgment of the couples service to the canal boatpeople.