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Spencer's work frequently combined real and imagined elements. As a result, his paintings have a strong sense of narrative even if the subject is not wholly explicable. He painted 'The Bridge'in a temporary studio in the Fee School,Maidenhead. The subject is believed to be spectators watching a boat race, probably the annual Cookham Regatta. They are standing on an invented stone bridge instead of Cookham's cast-iron bridge, although the decorative quatrefoil motifs are taken from the metal version. The Airedale terrier dog lying on the bridge was called Tinker and he belonged to a Cookham resident, Guy Lacey, who taught Stanley Spencer and his brother Gilbert to swim.

September 2004