Updated 10 days ago
High St, Cookham SL6 9SJ
A crow fell down the chimney at Fernlea on Cookham High Street, flapped around the room, flew out of the window and Stanley Spencer was born. The date was June 30th 1891 - and the family thought it was a good omen. He was the eighth surviving child of Annie and William Spencer, and he was joined a year later by his younger brother Gilbert... They were an extraordinary family. ‘Pa' William was a music teacher, who himself had trained in London. As Spencer's biographer Ken Pople points out the family produced ‘a knight, two professors, a concert violinist, a professional stage conjurer, the Director of the National Building Institute in London, an Oxford graduate (killed in the Great War) and the wife of a Cambridge don'. He should have added ‘two professional artists' as Gilbert also went on to be a successful artist... Spencer's childhood was full of music, literature and conversation. His father was a born educator who read out loud with the family and insisted on lively debate and..