Charles Ginner was born in Cannes in the south of France and retained his French accent for many years after moving to England in late 1909. Here he caricatures his speech in an amusing letter to Manson, the secretary of the Camden Town Group. The meeting that Ginner refers to took place on 25 October and discussed the formation of a new society, soon to be called the London Group (TGA 806/10/6).
Ginner and Harold Gilman were close friends and allies and Gilman was well known for his strong-minded views. Here Ginner jokes that ‘when “Gilman speaks” you might come out with the word “Yas” & everybody will think I am there’. Walter Sickert also comically entitled a portrait of the artist Mr Gilman Speaks 1912 (fig.1).
Ginner gives his current address as Applehayes in Clayhidon, Somerset, a farm owned by an ex-Slade student, Harold Bertram Harrison. Ginner stayed with Harrison on a few occasions, sometimes with Spencer Gore and Robert Bevan, and painted several landscapes there.
Rosalind Billingham, Artists at Applehayes: Camden Town Painters at a West Country Farm, 1909–1924, exhibition catalogue, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry 1986.
Helena Bonett August 2011
c/o H.B. Harrison Applehayes Clayhidon Wellington Somerset
23 October 1913
Mon cher Conservateur de Musèe,
I have infinite of regrets of not being able to assist at your meeting important, which must have place the 25th, on the subject of a new society important – From time to time when “Gilman speaks” you might come out with the word “Yas” & everybody will think I am there – Mon amour à tous –
Charles Ginner, Letter to James Bolivar Manson, 23 October 1913, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/charles-ginner-letter-to-james-bolivar-manson-r1104654, accessed 25 May 2019.