Joan Jackson: Artist

Followers may recall this painting of number 43 Chapel Street, Brownhills.

chapel street 43 (640x452)
Rear view of 43 Chapel Street, Brownhills, by Joan Jackson.

This original oil painting was based on a photograph, probably black and white, taken before Joan and her husband were forced to move after the house was condemned in about 1967.

Recently, I received a request from Wendy Cooke, who wrote:I am interested in finding out about a picture of St Peter’s Church Stonnall painted by a Joan Jackson of Brownhills and which hangs in the vestry of St. Peter’s Church, Stonnall.

I am doing voluntary work as a Church Recorder for NADFAS (National Society for Decorative and Fine Arts). I would be interested in finding out any History about the artist and her work.
I have looked on the internet and came across your website.
Thank you in anticipation.

I don’t know very much about Joan, as we visited infrequently, and I tended to gravitate more towards her husband, Les.

What do I think I know?

The birth of Joan Davies was registered in the first quarter of 1920 at Cannock, Staffordshire, indicating date of birth in that quarter or towards the end of 1919, though I believe a period of six months was allowed.  From recollection, Joan was local to Brownhills, so she was probably born somewhere north of Watling Street and west of Howdles Lane.  The precise date and location could be found out by obtaining a copy of the Entry of Birth from the General Register Office (GRO), reference:  1920 Jan-Feb-Mar Cannock 6b 1193.

In the spring of 1946 Joan married Leslie Albert Jackson (GRO ref:  1946 Apr-May-Jun Cannock 6b 1171).  After marrying, Joan and Les moved into number 43 Chapel Street, generally known as the back lane, which I believe Les had inherited from his grandmother.

Les (1919-1996) was an engineer of some considerable ability and was suitably rewarded by his employer Parsons, for whom he designed, among other things, turbines for generating electricity in power stations.  As a hobby, he also made astronomical telescopes, including the lenses, from scratch.  While there they were close friends with my parents and together they would go dinghy sailing, walk on Cannock Chase, and play cards, a favourite being canasta.

Joan, I think I recall, had some kind of office job that was also quite well paid, so, having no children and no mortgage, they were comfortably off, though ostentation was not their thing.  Joan was relatively tall, slender and had fair hair, which she always wore short: definitely a practical sort, but although she stood for little nonsense, always seemed warm and friendly.

There were no children, and I never knew anything about family on either side.

As I recall it, Joan only took up painting upon retirement, probably in 1985.  By then they had moved to 9 Watling Street, at the eastern corner of Dawes Lane, just down from Knaves Castle.  I only went there a few times, the last when Joan was rather tipsy, but I do remember there was a wall covered with her works, all framed by Les.  They included landscapes, among which were several in Wales, local scenes and still life.  After that we lost touch and when I enquired someone else was living at 9 Watling Street, but they were unable to say what happened to them.

I am reasonably confident that Les died aged 77 in 1996 (GRO ref: 1996 Oct Walsall A52A 0751A 84).

What became of Joan, or her paintings, or, indeed, Les’s telescopes, I have no idea.

So, does anyone know more?  If you can help, please contact me through the contact page, or directly to andrewskindred at gmail dot com.

st peter stonnall 2 110831 (600x640)
St Peter, Stonnall, Staffordshire (2011)


5 thoughts on “Joan Jackson: Artist

  1. Hi Andrew, just wondering but may be miles of track, you writing about Back lane and Jackson Family, there was a Jackson lived in the Back Lane, John Charles Jackson, Roland Jackson, my aunty Nancy Mother who as you know Married a Shingler and Mrs James who also was a Jackson before she got married, and stayed on at the House to bring up her family, i don’t know if there were any more Brother and Sisters but it was the Jackson’s family home, could Les Jackson be any relation to them ? or am i completely of track, hope you are doing Ok.


    1. Thanks, Martin

      I did have a brief look at Les’s ancestry. His father was Ambrose and his grandparents George and Emily. I found Ambrose had a sister Mildred and that George had four brothers, so there is plenty of scope for lots of Jacksons in the generation you refer to. I remember Roland, who would turn up at Park View occasionally. I guess he would have been 70-odd when I knew him, so born in the 1880s or 1890s? Roland is not such a frequent name so it might be possible to find a link. I vaguely remember Mrs James, did she live in the row just up from the chapel? What sort of age would John Charles be?



      1. Yes Roland move to Stonnall and as you say use to be at the Chapel with is wife, on special occasions John Charles who married May, lived in Ogley Road Brownhills also coming to the Chapel i think he was older then Roland early 1900’s i should think. they were all older then my Mother she would have been 103 years on the 4th August.


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