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01 May 2024

Recent Accessions: Paintings from the collection of Ashley Whitteridge

Recent Accessions: Paintings from the collection of Ashley Whitteridge

Visitors to the Museum in February and March would have had the opportunity to view our exhibition Prints, Paint & Pencil . This showcased artwork from the Museum’s collection which captured in paint, pen, and pencil the changing face of Wisbech over 250 years.


This artistic record is a collection which the Museum is keen to keep adding to and during the exhibition we were very pleased to receive the donation of paintings from the collection of the late Ashley Whitteridge from his daughter Belinda Carson.


Ashley Whitteridge studied law and worked as a solicitor in London before coming to Wisbech to work for Fraser Woodgate and Beall in the Old Market after the Second World War. He later became a partner of the firm. In 1946 he joined the Wisbech Society and at various times served as secretary, trustee and vice-president. His connection with the Society lasted for well over 50 years.






He supported many groups and societies in Wisbech and District. He was secretary of the Peckover House Advisory Committee for 46 years; others to benefit from his involvement and support included the Wisbech Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, Cricket, Hockey and Rugby Clubs; and several charitable trusts.


The paintings are either directly focussed on Whitteridge’s place of work – the offices of Fraser Woodgate and Beall in the Old Market – or parts of Wisbech close by.

Above - River Nene towards the Town Bridge by Irene Burton


Probably the earliest is an oil painting of a view along the River Nene towards the present Town Bridge which indicates a post 1931 date. The artist was Irene Burton who was a teacher at the Wisbech High School and she has captured the West Bank warehouses most of which have sadly been demolished.



There is an oil painting of the Old Market looking towards the Octagon Church which is of a similar date. Fraser Woodgate & Beal’s offices can be seen to the left. The painting appears to be unsigned.







Fred Harper’s oil painting of North End in 1969 joins his watercolour of Albion Terrace which he painted three years previously which was already in the Museum’s collection.

Above - North End by Fred Harper, '69





The offices of Fraser Woodgate and Beall are captured in a pen an ink drawing by Roger Alsop, 1976.


Left - Fraser Woodgate and Beall by Roger Alsop, April '76










And finally, there is a watercolour of the Old Market painted by Derek Abel in 1998. This was one of 40 views of Wisbech that Abel produced for the Wisbech Society’s publication Wisbech: Forty Perspectives of a Fenland Town. From this series we already have the painting of the Museum building – so only 38 more to go!

Above - The Old Market by Derek Abel, '98

Below - Wisbech & Fenland Museum by Derek Abel, '98

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