St Clements Church, Hastings England

Alex Cliff

Life is resuming a pre pandemic feel here in the UK including the opening of public buildings such as St Clements Church in Hastings Old Town which I visited last Monday by chance. This is the church you were unable to access when you visited in 2019. There is a somewhat obscure HHR connection.

On page 110 of the book¬†Henry Handel Richardson – some personal impressions, edited by Edna Purdie & Olga Roncoroni, Olga Roncoroni refers to their neighbours Philip & Elsie Cole. Philip Cole was an artist & designed 2 stained glass windows (the East Window & the Lady Chapel Window) in St Clement’s Church to replace those which had been bombed out in 1943. I have been told that most of the characters depict real people.

In the East window I believe the lady kneeling second from the right portrays Elsie Cole. The man on the upper far left representing agriculture is based on the Coles’ & latterly HHR’s gardener Fred Carter (p 126 of the book).

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