On 12th October Alleyn’s re-enacted a moment from its past when a representative contingent including the headmaster Dr Gary Savage and senior staff in Victorian dress marched behind a drum and fife band from The Old College in the Village to the School in Townley Road.
As our illustration shows, it replicates the march made in 1887, 125 years ago, when Alleyn’s marched off to their brand new school. The anniversary day began with the entire junior school and its staff dressed as their Victorian forebears, a Victorian menu for lunch and an evening performance of an Olde Time Music Hall.
The opportunity was also taken on the day to launch Advancing Alleyn’s – a project to raise funds for additional means-tested bursaries and to show visitors the plans for the proposed new junior school and dining hall.
Victorian dress was also on display at the naming of ‘Lovers lane’, the footpath between Gallery and College Roads in September. The path, variously called Pensioners Walk or Grove Walk was more popularly termed Lovers Lane and appeared so on the numerous postcards published in the Victorian and Edwardian period. The Dulwich Society organised the signage of the now official name and this was unveiled in the presence of an appropriately attired couple of lovers. A small reception was held afterwards.
The theft of Barbara Hepworth’s Two Forms (Divided Circle) from Dulwich Park overnight on 19th December 2011 set off a wave of interest in the artist and her work. As one lover of the piece put it, “In some ways, Two Forms has had more presence by its absence.”
As owner of the lost work, the London Borough of Southwark is now holding £400,000 of insurance proceeds, which the leader of the council, Peter John, has confirmed will be ring-fenced to fund the purchase of a suitable replacement for the Hepworth.
A steering group established to progress this comprises two Southwark cabinet members, Councillors Barrie Hargrove and Veronica Ward, alongside three Southwark officers, and Ian Dejardin of Dulwich Picture Gallery, Ian McInnes of The Dulwich Society and Trevor Moore of Dulwich Park Friends.
Following a public consultation that ended in June, the appointment of a specialist to advise on shortlisting three or four appropriate artists is imminent. The chosen artists will be asked to submit their ideas for showing to the public. It is not expected that a replacement work, in whatever form – but not made of precious metal – will be ready for installation before December 2013.
To meet the considerable public interest sparked by the theft of the Hepworth, Dulwich Park Friends is working with three local artists on A Homage to Hepworth event to celebrate the artist and her work. This will take place on Thursday 10th January 2013 at 7.30pm in the Michael Croft Theatre at Alleyn’s School. The programme is being finalised but will include a keynote talk from Tate Britain’s Hepworth expert, Chris Stephens, the showing of extracts from the film The Art of Hepworth and a photo display of the many collected images of Two Forms being made and in its park location. For more information call Trevor Moore of Dulwich Park Friends on 07967 000546.