Father Basil Jellicoe
Person Male Born 5/2/1899 Died 24/8/1935
Anglican vicar. Born Sussex, his father being a cousin of Lord Jellicoe. Worked in the slums of Somers Town, north London in the 1920s. He set up the St Pancras House Improvement Society and persuaded Edward, Prince of Wales to become its patron. Died Uxbridge.
One of the advanced ideas Jellicoe put into practice was decorating the courtyards and gardens with works of art, Doultonware ceramics. The nearby British Library has (2013) a small display in the lower level of some of these charming items. An information board there says “The sculptor Gilbert Bayes was commissioned to create ceramic finials to top the washing-line posts in a number of courtyards. … His main sources of inspiration were folklore, the Bible and medieval romances. Many of his finials symbolised episodes in the lives of saints, after whom buildings on the estates were named. Remarkably the finials survived World War II undamaged but today very few originals remain.” Many of the finials in situ now are replicas. Designed for St Pancras, other copies of these figures were made, displayed and on general sale in the 1930s. Phillip Dawson’s flickr page shows items from the BL display.
2019: Ian Visits found more Bayes ceramic finials on drying posts at St Hubert’s House, in Janet Street, E14.