Leslie E. Windsor
In 2017 you could take a short self-guided tour of works by past RGA members which were on display, which included Demolition, Hosier Street, Reading at that time hanging in the People and Places gallery. [Highlighted: Sep 2017]
Leslie Ernest Windsor was one of the Reading Guild of Artists longest serving members joining in September 1932 on the strength of his woodwork, his first exhibit being a 'Radio-Gramaphone Cabinet'. He later went onto exhibiting watercolours. He served on the RGA Council 1951-1957 and continued to exhibit with his watercolours, many of local buildings and scenes, until 1989. Demolition, Hosier Street, Reading was exhibited at the Reading Guild of Artists 29th Annual Exhibition, May 2 – May 30 1959 at The Municipal Art Gallery, Reading, catalogue number 83 for 12 Guineas.
We are lucky to have Leslie Windsor's own recollections of this work: 'Walking along Hosier Street towards the town I noticed a street called 'Hope Street'. Most of the buildings in the vicinity had gone. Very old houses towards the end of Hosier Street on the left, with overhanging top rooms, were well on the way to disappearing forever. Making some quick notes I decided to come along the following day, a Sunday, and do more details, especially in colour. It seemed such a wonderful subject, especially as the 'Hope Street' sign was still in position, signifying the hope for a happy future for the area. The picture I made was a fairly large watercolour, with certain features emphasized with collage'
Part of Hosier Street still exists, but now looks very different. Running off St. Mary's Butts opposite Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin, part of this demolition site eventually became the Butts Shopping centre (now Broad Street Mall) a decade later. Hope Street was approximately where Queens Walk is today.