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H. E. Cox: A Blue Plaque

The life and works of Herbert Edward Cox, a very talented artist and member of the CWSA who lived at 7 Manor Road, Lillington, Leamington Spa were celebrated on Saturday 3rd September 2011. 

The Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa, Councillor Alan Wilkinson performed the task of unveiling the Blue Plaque now to be found on the    front wall of  the house in Lillington where Herbert had lived from 1913 until his death in 1941.  This was witnessed by local residents and members of Lillington Local History Society.  Unfortunately our Chairman Richard Pheasey was not able to attend due to illness.

Herbert trained as a designer and draughtsman, having attended the Grammar School in Coventry.  After the death of his father, he moved with his mother and family to Eastbourne where he was a textile designer working from home.  In 1913 he moved with his wife to Manor Road, when he became a painting master at Coventry Technical Institute, now Coventry College.  

He moved to Kenilworth having married Margaret Shilton in Harrogate in 1909.  In 1912 he produced more than 70 watercolours of street scenes depicting a Coventry lost to the past.  Apart from the Coventry street scenes he also painted local landscapes including countryside views of Ashow, Stoneleigh and Bubbenhall.  Still life and pen and ink sketches also feature in his repertoire.  A significant number of his works can be viewed on request at the Coventry Council House. There are others in the Herbert Art Gallery Collection, the Leamington Art  Gallery and     Museum Collection; several more privately owned have come to light  as a result ofthe plaque unveiling.

Herbert’s talent for producing small paintings, vividly coloured, recording in some detail of a lost age has now been recognised with the first Blue Plaque to be located outside central Leamington Spa.  Peter Coulls