Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > OS News > Hasbro (Happisburgh) stars in BBC antiques series

Hasbro (Happisburgh) stars in BBC antiques series

Moderrnised Church Farm shines on prime time programme
31 Aug 2022
Written by Jennifer Law
OS News

John Rycroft (RPH, 64-69) writes to share a glimpse of a cherished Stortfordian home from home on BBC 1 recently:

'Viewers of Fake or Fortune?, shown on BBC1 on 23rd August 2022, and introduced by Fiona Bruce and gallery owner, Philip Mould, will have seen views of Church Farm, Hasbro and the surrounding area. Church Farm will bring back many memories of summer holidays and long weekend lets spent in the North Norfolk coastal village. Viewers of the BBC programme will have seen a very different building to the one they remembered.

The programme centred around a mural painted on the plaster wall in the spare bedroom of a cottage in Surrey, purported to have been the work of Ben Nicholson, a leading light of British modernism in the last century. The house owner had almost painted over the mural with white emulsion on many occasion, but for some reason had held back.

Church Farm was rented by the Old Stortfordians for use as a holiday home from 1913 until 1982. Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson stayed there in 1930 and 1931. They carved and polished ironstone pebbles picked up on the beach.

Walter Strachan, Head of Modern Languages at BSC, 1928-1968, a personal friend of Henry Moore and many of his contemporary artist friends, would have been intrigued by the programme.'

The programme can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer by following this link

In 2014 some former members of the Hasbro’ Society generously donated a tree and dedicated it to the memories and the legacy that generations of Stortfordians so much enjoyed. The tree now takes pride of place at the top of School House Drive in full view of the Memorial Hall. The tree was dedicated by Ed Inglis (AH, 51-59), who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion and spoke of the legacy that Church Farm Hasbro’ holds within the Stortfordian community, Ed wrote in OS News at the time:

'The Hasbro’ Club was started just before the 1st World War and it’s ‘HQ’ was Church Farm, Happisburgh, on the north Norfolk coast. The owner of the house was a Miss Wenn, who leased the house to the Club on what seemed to be an indefinite basis. It was a bit spartan yet comfortable at the same time - log fires, a resident cook who had culinary skills to die for, and so much of it! You couldn’t go hungry! I think everybody left for their homes carrying a few extra pounds. I’ll mention here that it was entirely possible for people to rent the house privately for their families to enjoy summer holidays.

The beach was not ten minutes walk away and there were plenty of places to explore. The locals are extremely affable and there is a pub (Hill House) not five minutes away. During the late sixties attendances seemed to take a down turn; with the advent of inexpensive holidays abroad and more and more people were bringing their cars up and going their separate ways. One of the many strong points of Hasbro’ was keeping together as one unit.

Later on when Miss Wenn died, the house reverted back to her family who did offer its sale to the club but lack of funds made this impossible. In recent times the new owners have converted the barns surrounding the house into extremely comfortable cottages which are very well appointed, so all is not lost for those who want to go and spend a few days and see the house.

The OS archive in the library is home to stunning wooden boxes which house numerous photo albums and ledgers (daily logs) from Church Farm visits, a wonderful and lasting legacy to very special times spent in Norfolk. The final meeting of the Hasbro’ Society took place at Church Farm in 1982, over a long weekend, with a special service of thanksgiving being held in the church, at which members, young and old, attended.’

We hope that Stortfordians with memories of Church Farm thoroughly enjoy a walk down memory lane - even if that lane now looks quite different - we are very gratfeul to John Rycroft for getting in touch to let us know!

Similar stories

Classes of 1970,1971,1972 and 1973 return to campus for special half century celebration. More...

Moving eulogy to David Hopper on his sad passing at the age of 80 written by College Head of History, and friend to Mr Hopper for many years, Tom Stua… More...

Dr Stephanie Howard-Smith (PP,WH,AH,TH, 96-09) shares expert historical canine knowledge. More...

Most read

Moving eulogy to David Hopper on his sad passing at the age of 80 written by College Head of History, and friend to Mr Hopper for many years, Tom Stua… More...

Classes of 1970,1971,1972 and 1973 return to campus for special half century celebration. More...

Dr Stephanie Howard-Smith (PP,WH,AH,TH, 96-09) shares expert historical canine knowledge. More...

Share a story with us

 
image

Bishop's Stortford College,
School House, Maze Green Rd,
Bishop's Stortford, CM23 2PQ

Contact us

The Stortfordian Foundation
E-mail foundation@bishopsstortfordcollege.org
+44 (0) 1279 838 575

Legal

This website is powered by
ToucanTech