Searching for long-lost St Albans’ Hill End fete painting

Mystery over whereabouts of a painting showing Hill End hospital’s fete in St Albans

Mystery over whereabouts of a painting showing Hill End hospital’s fete in St Albans - Credit: Photo supplied

Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a painting showing a mental hospital’s fete in St Albans in 1975.

Richard Bull, Highfield Park Trust’s park manager, said that staff and trustees are keen to find out what happened to the picture which depicts the Hill End hospital’s fete on the village green – formerly the cricket ground.

The painting, possibly completed by a patient, features a cheerful scene, and each figure has a unique appearance.

It is understood it is based on real people, with the then matron of Hill End standing at the front.

The painting is dated 1975 and signed by C M Wilkins.

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Richard said the painting once hung in the entrance of Hill End but it is not known where it went after the hospital closed in the mid-1990s.

He said trustees had stumbled on its disappearance when interviewing and researching for the charity’s annual summer fete on July 12.

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Richard added: “We want to find out what happened to it as it could be part of our display. It is a memento of a bygone era. We just have a photo of the painting, and didn’t know of its existence until recently.

“There aren’t many paintings of the hospital and a lot of records were destroyed.

“Although it doesn’t belong to us, it is a piece of St Albans history.”

If anyone has any recollection of this painting or knows of its whereabouts, please contact Richard on 01727 847242.

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