In August 2017 I was contacted out of the blue by a Mudlen End collector who told me that his wife has in her collection a large model with the name ‘Hart’ inscribed upon it. He had a niggling thought that it may be connected to Mudlen end and my father. I had never seen the model in the photos that he sent, but I was elated to see that it would have been produced from a mould that was in my fathers workshop which I was intending to investigate at some future stage. it was a true “eureka” moment.
Above are pictures of the mould. As a 9 piece mould (there is another large slab that creates the entire roof ) it is the most complex one that I have seen made by my father. I had no idea what it was a model of, or if it were even an actual building. I knew it would be hard to research. It was my intention to actually make a casting from the mould and then see if anyone might know what building it was, a bit of a shot in the dark really.
The above are the photos that Martin sent of the model. It was a great thrill to be able to put the two together, the mould and the model.
The inscription reads: The Old Rectory Gt Whelnetham Lancelot & Muriel Lake 1932 Hart
Below are photos with a tape showing dimensions: I have to say that this has to be the biggest cast model made by my father, from the most complex mould.
It is not stamped on the base as Mudlen End Studio would have been wound up prior to this piece being made and my father was at this time producing pieces in his “semi retirement”.
A little research tells me that Lancelot and Muriel Lake were prominent in Bury St Edmunds society, with connections to the Green King brewery company. They were also Freemen of the Borough of Bury St. Edmunds.
Ongoing research is required to find out why, and by whom, this model was commissioned and how many were produced. I look forward to knowing the complete story.