Life Drawing lessons at Margate Adult Education Centre

I teach Life Drawing at the Margate Adult Education Centre.  This is located in an amazing Art Deco period building on the corner of Hawley Square – a lovely old Georgian Square with some beautiful old trees in its centre that might even have been here for all that time!  It’s around the corner from Cecil Square and it is on several bus routes and just a short walk along the seafront from the railway station.  It was originally built as an art college and the present day art room used to be the Life Room back in the days when it was the Thanet School of Art (Walter Sickert even gave some lectures about drawing here in 1934!).  We’re so lucky to have this building and I love teaching here in this place!

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2 thoughts on “Life Drawing lessons at Margate Adult Education Centre”

  1. Roy Eastland, Hi, Fascinated by your site here. I attended Margate School of Art in the latter part of 1950s with a number of tutors Clifford Bailey: Graphics, whom I met up with last year while he was home from Australia for a few weeks, Chris Alexander: painting, and Life drawing, George Maynard: Illustration, Roy (?) from Dover: Litho illustration, ? Barnard: Calligraphy, and life drawing in your very room you use at present. Apart from Clifford all the tutors are now deceased!
    I went on to Canterbury College of Art and did Graphics with Mr. Hickson (Always known as ‘Mr.’) and Dury in the Print Shop at the back of the present Carlton Cinema, The Graphics Department is still there as a design Studio the other buildings have all disappeared to make way for the car park. John Moody was Principal at Both Canterbury and Margate School of Art, much disliked by students and I believe staff for his rather domineering attitude. He was, however, and excellent draughtsman and photographer and had his Dark room on the landing that goes above and around the foyer.
    I know the Alexander family quite well as I did etching in the basement with Matt Alexander in the mid 70s before he became an international artist and his brother Gregg, now in Australia, also did etching with us.
    After Art college I went into printing and allied trades then as a mature student in my late twenties to London University to College of Education at Sittinbourne. Became a Geography Teacher and taught some Senior Art at Holy Cross Sec. School as well as Music for 17 years. Then in the mid 1980s became Head of Humanities at Laleham Special School, finally teaching Art and DT then a short spell at St.Anthony’s Special School once I’d retired to help them out with Art and before I finally gave up teaching children a year teaching phonics as I’d gained a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties at Christ Church Canterbury under Dr, Chasty when I was at Laleham (now Laleham Gap).
    I’m now in my mid 70s still tutoring Art, one group in Margate, three groups in Wingham and a group in Littlebourne, mostly senior citizens. I lived in Wingham for over a decade but now am in Margate near St.John’s Church. I’ve been chairman of the EKAS for the past decade and have been associated with the Society since the late 70s.
    Since those early days and having an inspirational teacher at Hereson County Secondary Alfred Shepherd, Art has always been very much part of my life and the building in Hawley Square holds very happy memories for me, never for one moment thinking I’d purchase a house so nearby!
    Yours painterly, Fred

    1. Thank you for your comment Fred!

      That’s really interesting. I like the fact that the room I teach life drawing in is the same one that people have done Life Drawing in for decades going back as far as the 1930s. I think the building has good ghosts.

      I’ve spoken to a couple of people who were at the art college in the early 1960s and they’ve mentioned the Life Drawing teacher called Bernard Willis. He was there from when it opened until about 1964 and people seem to remember him quite fondly. I like the memory people have of him of confiscating students’ rubbers if they used them too much! There is a photograph of the Life Room taken in about 1932 and it shows Mr Willis teaching a Portrait Drawing class and in the picture you can see a dais (for the model pose on) and some wooden boxes used as stools and foot rest etc. Those same object are still in the room and I wonder if they have ever been anywhere else for last 85 years!

      Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you’ve continued to make art ever since your time there as a student. I’m very fond of the building too and I’m glad I’m able to teach Life Drawing there.

      Thanks!
      Roy Eastland

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