George Harrison (1876-1950) was a painter and poet born in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He studied in Antwerp with his mentor Walter Bonner Gash and began his artistic career sketching scenes of news events for local newspapers including the Kettering Leader. He supplied drawings, poems and articles to the Leader up to the 1940s. He developed as a painter of Northamptonshire scenes and was a founding member of the Kettering and District Art Society, serving as its Secretary from 1907 to 1932. He published several books of poems and sketches of the Northamptonshire countryside. In 1938 he was co-opted onto Kettering Education Committee and worked to encourage an appreciation of art in local schools, often donating his own paintings.
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A pen and ink drawing measuring 8¼” x 10½”. Signed G. Harrison and inscribed ‘Cranford, Winter’.
A snowy view of Rectory Hill in Cranford, Northamptonshire.
Entrance to Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire
A pen and ink drawing measuring 8¼” x 10½”. Signed G. Harrison and inscribed ‘Entrance to Rushton Hall’.
A view of the early-19th century lodges and gateway at the entrance to Rushton Hall (now a hotel).
Woodford Bottom Mill, Northamptonshire
A pen and ink drawing measuring 8¼” x 11½”. Signed G. Harrison. Faded handwritten label verso: ‘Woodford Mill, Holidays, 1923-1929’.
This 18th-century corn mill was located on the stretch of the River Nene between Denford and Woodford, one of three water mills…
…on the Nene towards Ringstead. Samuel Allen succeeded Joseph Gunn as miller in 1863, and so it also became known as Allen’s Mill. It was still in use in 1940 when George Bream was the farmer, but became disused by 1958 and was demolished by 1973. Woodford Upper Mill, further south towards Ringstead, is the only surviving mill of the three. This drawing of Woodford Bottom Mill by George Harrison appears as one of the illustrations in his book A Wanderer in Northamptonshire, published in 1948 (p. 144). It is accompanied by a poem entitled ‘Woodford Mill’:
‘Now seated here beyond the mill,
I see the changing colours flow;
The shadows in the waters spill
From little clouds, that drifting go
Across the tender sky of blue,
To mirror in the river’s tide,
Like little boats of magic hue
That only fairies design to guide.’