Florence Balshaw - artist of Little Lever, Bolton

Original Message----- From: Alison Morgan [mailto:Alimorg@btinternet.com]

Sent: 15 January 2002 01:01 To: nick.balshaw@oxinst.co.uk

Subject: Florence Balshaw

Hi Nick, I recently bought a watercolour painting at an antique fair by Florence Balshaw of Little Lever, Bolton, who I understand exhibited 1912-1940. Trying to find out more about her, I came across your site and wondered if you knew of Florence and her artistic talent? I was born in Bolton and my father went to art school in Bolton and painted in a very similar style to Florence, so in addition to liking the painting, it has a number of connections for me. I understand that Florence lived for a while in North Wales. There are other paintings by Florence on the market and though I have never previously bought a painting, I have considered looking at the others, though I would like to find out more about her first. If any of this makes sense, and is of interest to you, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Kind regards, Alison Morgan

My reply:

I have searched through all my Balshaw records and found a small amount of information that might be of interest to you.

I found that in the second quarter of 1947, Florence E A Balshaw died in the Bolton area, aged 80. I don't know whether this is the right Florence of course, but it seems to be believable.

This would suggest that she was born in 1867 and that it would therefore be possible to find a record of her birth, or to find her on the 1881 census. Unfortunately I have failed on both counts. Therefore I conclude that Balshaw was her married name and I have no easy way to trace her marriage or birth.

If she was a well-known character in the Bolton area, it is likely that an obituary would have been published in a local newspaper, and this may give some other information about her. I suggest that you go to a local library to see whether they have papers of that era on microfilm, and simply check the obituaries from 31st March to early July 1947. You usually find that the obituaries are on the same page every week, so it wouldn't take too long to search through three months worth of weekly or twice-weekly newspapers.

If you find anything I would be interested to hear about it. Good luck

All the best

Nick Balshaw