Lymm Rushbearing, 1840
Other information from a variety of sources
photo and some information on Art UK website (external link - opens in new
e-mail to website
The [painting] shows a mounted policeman leading the
procession which gave me something to go on regarding uniforms etc.
Further research from the Cheshire Police Museum proved that The Police
Committee for the Cheshire Constabulary, was not established until late
1857, and after a further meeting decided that the Cheshire Police
uniform should follow that of the Metropolitan Force i.e. the colour of
the uniform be blue. Superintendents wore frock coats with braid, and
white gloves; so this depiction can date from no earlier than
Usually, we must be cautious with such sources because of a degree of
artistic licence, but here however it is highly unlikely that any
painter would depict such fine details as a superintendents uniform
before they existed.
From the e-book
The painting was sold by auction as part of the estate of
the late Robert Oldfield at Oak Villa Farm Burford Lane, Oughtrington,
Lymm, on Thursday December 12th 1918 by John Arnolds, Auctioneers, of
Altrincham and although many locals were keen to acquire it, the picture
was sold out of the village, and no-one knew the purchase.
The picture is described in the auctioneers listings as a 'large Oleograph
"Rushbearing at Lymm" in a gilt frame'. (Note: An oleograph is a
print in imitation of an oil painting).
According to the diary notes of folklorist Derek Froome,
Donald Adamson, successor to Robert Oldfield had many enquiries about the
painting but could not help.
In January 1954 Derek Froome met the old clerk of John Arnolds, the
auctioneers who remembered the auction, and he subsequently met with Mr.
Arnold (son) who endeavoured to find a record of the auction which he also
remembered, but all the records were pulped c.1938.
The painting is now in the possession of the Castle
Folk-Life Museum in York, but there is no record of when or from whom it
was acquired. The museum kindly supplied the photograph.
Location of art work
We headed for one of the reserve collections of York City
Museum -- "outstores" they call them, in the jargon -- which is
housed in an exceedingly anonymous-looking unit on an industrial estate on
the Hull road.
I was keen to see a painting "Lymm Rushbearing, 1840" which I
had traced to York, and was in the happy position both of learning more
about this picture and also of being able to tell them a lot about it
myself. A curator opened the door and, through all the cardboard
storage-boxes, took us upstairs.
This picture, a good example of naive folk art, records a traditional
ceremony enacted for hundreds of years in the village of Lymm in Cheshire,
where I was brought up.
From 1861 to 1918 it hung in our farmhouse at Lymm. As a boy I remember my
father being consulted about it several times: in particular, where had it
got to? Somehow it surfaced mysteriously in York.
My father could tell them nothing, for we did not take over the farm until
1923, by which time the picture had been gone for five years.
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Last updated 16 September 2016