Fenja & Anthony Anderson lived at 33 Abinger Road from 1973 to 1996 and were active members of the community and the Bedford Park Society.
As a gardening writer, Fenja (nee Gunn, 1941-2020) championed the annual Open Gardens event in the Bedford Park Festival, which prompted her to write and illustrate the booklet Gardening in Bedford Park with the help of other local gardeners. She was an accomplished watercolourist, having previously worked in the world of fashion illustration, and later writing and illustrating The Lost Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll.
The four watercolours of Bedford Park – showing (left to right, above) Marlborough Crescent, Blenheim Road, Queen Anne’s Gardens and Woodstock Road – were painted en plein air in the early 1980’s. It was Anthony’s wish that the four paintings should stay together – and ideally return to the heart of Bedford Park – and he asked Nigel Woolner, President of the Bedford Park Society, to see if a suitable location could be found.
Following discussions with the Vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Father Kevin Morris, the Society was delighted when he suggested the staircase wall opposite the Sacristy, a perfect location in the Church in the heart of the community. The paintings were unveiled at a reception in the church on Saturday November 6th 2021 (photos, right and below).
Nigel Woolner said: “Anthony and the Society are most grateful to Father Kevin for all his support for the project which will ensure that Fenja’s wonderful paintings can be enjoyed by residents & visitors to Bedford Park for generations to come.”
The Andersons moved in 1996 to Bradfield in west Berkshire where Fenja designed and planted a celebrated garden, Mariners, which attracted visitors from all over the world. Sadly she died suddenly in January last year.