305th birthday party
Town Hall was packed for the 2nd fund-raising birthday party held there in 8 November
The William Hogarth Trust's event drew together three groups of performers, all
of whom donated their services free of charge and provided a strong 18th century
theme, There was plenty of food and drink, a raffle with prizes from local shops,
and a little treasure hunt based on Rocque's 1740s map of the area. Sir Peter
Blake had agreed to the production of a limited edition print of the find drawing
of Hogarth's pug which he donated for the auction at the first birthday party
in 2000, and was present to help sell some of these on the night. (There are some
prints left at £75 each - contact the Trust on 8995 9013 if you would like
to reserve one).
arrival the audience found the hall occupied by the Covent Garden Minuet Company
(which little includes at least one Chiswick resident) in full court costume doing
a little light minuetting. (Pictured left). This group of about 20 stayed and
helped sell the raffle tickets before their tremendous performance of 18th century
dances which rounded off the evening's entertainment.
programme proper began with the splendid MC, Ray Batchelor, appearing on stage
amongst the musicians, carrying Hogarth's birthday cake while the Ealing Youth
Orchestra (EYO) and the St Peter's Singers led the audience in a very dignified
rendition of "Happy Birthday".
by Mark Forkgen , the young players of the EYO (right)then gave a fine performance
of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, with Esther Sheridan as the soloist. They were
followed by the St Peter's Singers, conducted by Ben Revill (now a grown up tenor,
but once the boy soprano who sang over the Blackadder I credits), singing a range
of 18th century pieces (including some remarkable naughty ones).
second half began with "Hogarth's Soap Operas", an explanation of Hogarth's
series of pictures, the Harlot's Progress and the Rake's Progress, by James Wisdom,
the Chairman of the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society, who promised
to lower the tone of the evening" - and did so very amusingly.
statue sculptor - Jim Matheson
the raffle drawn by local celebrities including Susan Penhaligon, Peter Howell
and Rosalind Knight, the finale with the Minuet Dancers was introduce by Ray Batchelor
with a reading of Hogarth's views of the elegance of the minuet. It included a
demonstration of the Language of the Fan, which enabled ladies to send discreet
messages to potential suitors at social events!
event owed a good deal to a large number of voluntary helpers who laid out the
hall, prepared the supper, found sponsors and donors of raffle prizes and cleared
up at the end of an exhausting day.
William Hogarth Trust was hoping to raise sufficient funding to pay off the final
debts on the Hogarth statue and cover the costs of its launch as a registered
charity, but at the time of writing was still calculating the finances of the
If you have a local event you'd like to promote - click