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St Peter, Goodworth Clatford - Second World War Graffiti
Perhaps even more significant than the early examples of graffiti however, are the pencil drawings and inscriptions left within the clergy vestry by the young men who acted as organ blowers, pumping the bellows, at the time of the second world war. There is a huge amount of graffiti, both on the plaster of the wall and scratched into the wooden organ casing, mostly dated to the 1940s. Many names are recorded, often more than once, and often described as organ blowers (Photo 1). The interests of these young men are exemplified by the carefully drawn examples of different types of aircraft that they are obviously familiar with (Photo 2), there being a number of airfields in the vicinity. There are also drawings of guns.
Their thoughts were not always on war though, and there is the little figure we christened “the Clatford Venus” (Photo 6). There are also some caricatures, including one possibly of Hitler, and another labelled E Grace “Our Ernie” (Photo 7). A detailed coat of arms, very carefully drawn onto the organ casing, is titled “Courtaulds” with “Fabric” beneath (Photo 8). There is also a rather devilish head “ALA The Gem” (Photo 9). More research is needed into the local significance of Photos 8 & 9.
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