Bunting bonanza at Turner’s House

Bunting bonanza at Turner’s House

 Richmond residents may be self-isolating in lock down, but behind closed doors there is a flurry of activity bringing members of the local community together to raise funds and spirits around the weekend celebrations for VE Day.

Over 50 households in Twickenham and Petersham have been finding fabric, cutting triangles and creating festive flags to festoon 2.6 miles of walls and fences as part of the 2.6 Challenge to raise money for Turner’s House in Twickenham.

The bunting was the idea of local resident Julia Bailey, a trustee of the Turner’s House, who explains,

“Nationally, the focus for the moment is, quite rightly, on front-line charities and services which are responding to those suffering as a result of the pandemic.”

“However, increasingly, the country is preparing to address the long-term effects post-lockdown. I am passionate about ensuring that our local heritage remains a vibrant element of community life. I recognised how the COVID crisis had brought out a community spirit in my area so came up with the idea of a “corridor of colour” with bunting stretching over 2.6km of roadside along Petersham Road, a main route for our emergency and support services.

 “2.6 km is barking mad” Julia confesses, “but we will have an impact from through Petersham to Ham Common…I hope!”

Why Turner’s House?

“Turner’s House enables visitors to experience the house Turner designed and lived in with his dad when away from the hectic environment of London.  We provide an important resource for local primary and secondary schools and are keen to ensure that we can still welcome the 300+ children who look forward to visiting the house as well as participating in projects themed around Turner.  We are partnering with local mental health and elderly organisations offering this peaceful house for tailored supportive programmes.  Whilst we will have to work out how we manage this with acceptable “social distancing” we expect the need for such support to increase even more when we are able to reopen.”

Donations can be made to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JuliaBailey7 and any contribution will be supplemented by a donation from the combined fund administered by the Charities Aid Foundation. Over £1,500 has been raised to date.

Since the lockdown the team at Turner’s House have been working hard to keep all their supporters engaged with JMW Turner’s former home. They have been sending weekly emails to volunteers full of non COVID-19 news and photographs, fun Turner information and a Turner painting of the week, plus links to great online courses. They have also created a video of the sell-out Turner and the Thames exhibition that had to close early so that it is available all those who booked and were not able to see it in person and have created their own YouTube Channel with videos about Turner and his home.

On top of the bunting extravaganza for the 2.6 Challenge, they are also sharing 26 books about Turner and rowing (indoors) for 26 minutes whilst watching a film of JMW Turner’s oil sketches that he painted from a rowing boat on the Thames.

May 7, 2020