In 1960 a small group of leisure time artists in Walton on Thames decided to form an art club. They had originally met at local art evening classes and wanted to keep together throughout the summer months. They persuaded their winter tutor, Montague Webb, to become the Club’s President.
The Club was essentially a working club meeting each Wednesday evening at Ambleside Middle School throughout the year for painting, monthly lectures, demonstrations and criticisms by established visiting professional painters and by club members.
By 1975 the membership had increased to more than 140 and meetings were being held at the Rydens School in Hersham Road with Pamela Davis as President. Other notable members in these earlier times included John Brangwyn, who was the nephew of Sir Frank Brangwyn R. A., and Sidney Foley, a member of the Wapping Group. The late Tom Rowney of Daler-Rowney was an Honorary Member and donated the Rowney Cup and Rowney Palette. The late John Markham, who worked in his early days alongside the famous cartoonist, Giles of the Daily Express, painted many local watercolour scenes which were always sought after at the Club’s annual exhibition.
Through the years, our numbers have included professional artists such as Jill Bays and Freda Anderson, both of whom teach, write books, and have produced videos online.