• Somerset Heritage Centre
Reference number
  • A/AGV
  • This small collection comprises the diaries, (with some bundles of photographs) covering the years 1899-1952, of Miss Violet Almgill Dickinson (Letty), b 3 Dec 1883. She was the eldest of the four children of Frank Dickinson, a Fine Art dealer in Bond Street and was educated at Frognal, Hampstead, whilst her brothers were educated at Highgate. F L Dickinson joined his father at the gallery, later joining The Estates Gazette. Miss Dickinson farmed at Little Bower, Molash in Kent, from c 1912 until after World War I, then at Herons' Wood Farm, Beckley, East Sussex. Upon the death of her father in 1922-23, Herons' Wood was sold and Miss Dickinson moved first to The Old Vicarage at Kilve, and then to nearby Higher Pardlestone where she farmed Angora rabbits, ran a guest house and learned to spin and weave. She was joined there by her younger brother Cedric, who had trained at Wye Agricultural College. In 1936, they moved to another Holford property - Quarry house, where they worked until Miss V A Dickinson's death in 1953, her brother continuing there until he died in 1971. G E Dickinson was Conservative agent in Ayr before joining Nora Biddulph and setting up as weavers and fruit bottlers at the Old Forge, Plainsfield, Over Stowey. Violet Almgill Dickinson was an accomplished artist and miniaturist, as her various awards from National bodies testify. Her diaries are in many cases beautifully illustrated by her line drawings. Accession M/1207 (4 boxes) comprises sketches and watercolours of Miss Violet A Dickinson (also known as Letty), early 20th -mid 20th cent.; books decorated by V A Dickinson; postcard and Christmas card woodcuts/linocuts; photograph albums of the Dickinson family (mainly at Kent, c.1900-1920s); visitor books (for Molash, Kent, for period 1915-1919 and includes photographs, and for Holford, 1930-1990); correspondence, diaries, estate papers (including inventory of household chattels, etc., of property in Holford) and personal papers of Cedric Dickinson and V A Dickinson, early 20th-late 20th cent.; newspaper cuttings relating to the weaving business of V A Dickinson and Cedric Dickinson, c.1951; miscellaneous objects (including Drawing Society medals); papers of the Ede family. Accession M/2017 (3 boxes) comprises numerous editions of the 'I.M.A' magazine [Invalids' Magazine Albums?] which contain original watercolours, drawings, articles, poems, short stories, photographs and letters by Violet A Dickinson (the editor) and others, 1903-1914. The 1st issue of the 'magazine' lists the rules of the I.M.A', which includes the rule that all members must be invalids or 'delicate'. The magazine was sent to members, subscribers and contributors who were allowed to keep the magazine for 2 days before forwarding it to the next member who were listed in the magazine. Before forwarding the magazine on each subscriber, etc., had to note their favourite contributors. Editions of this magazine are also held at the London Metropolitan Archives (ref. LMA/4292). The accession also includes a porfolio of sketches, watercolours and linoprints for the 'I.M.A' magazines, created mainly by Violet Dickinson, members of the family, friends and other artists associated with Violet and Cedric Dickinson, 1901-c.1960; ledger containing various accounts including those relating to Pardlestone Weavers, fruit, poultry, bees, etc., 1912-1958.
  • 1899-1990
Access status
  • Open
  • Collection