COMMEMORATION PLAQUE- WILLIAM THOMAS REED ATKINSON (1851-1929)

 

A commemoration ceremony was held on Tuesday 24th August 2021, to unveil a plaque in memory of William Thomas Reed Atkinson (1851-1929). The event had been organised by two of his Gt Grandsons, Peter and Andy Thomas.

The short ceremony was held at the old 13 Church Road, Tottenham site commemorating William Thomas Reed Atkinson’s work as a violin maker at that location. The plaque had been designed by Peter Thomas, and it shows WTRA making one of his violins. It was thought that were it just a name and dates on the plaque this would mean nothing to a passer-by who had no knowledge of WTRA and his presence in Church Road.

 



 

 

The opening words were given by Deborah Hedgecock, the Curator at the nearby Bruce Castle Museum, who provided some background to the role WTRA had played in the local history of Tottenham and the recognition he had achieved worldwide in appreciation of his splendid violins.

 




THE UNVEILING CEREMONY



Cllr JOGEE AND DEBORAH HEDGECOCK COMPARING VIOLINS

His Worshipful the Mayor of Haringey, Cllr Adam Jogee, officiated, and a short violin recital was played by a young and accomplished violinist named Toby Purdy. The event was followed with a reception later in the day at T on the Green in Bruce Castle Park.

 




Cllr JOGEE ALONGSIDE ANDY THOMAS   (WITH VIOLIN OWNED BY ANDY THOMAS)





VIOLIN RECITAL – TOBY PURDY
 

The photographs show the Mayor comparing two Atkinson violins – one belonging to Andy Thomas and the other their cousin Ron Atkinson. There were actually three Atkinson violins there on the day as Bruce Castle Museum also own one but sadly that one was not in a playable condition.

The family had done an amazing job over several years to get the project underway and had to negotiate and overcome massive local government hurdles along the way. A splendid job all round !





Andy Thomas produced a short video of the occasion, and I was quite taken that he had superimposed an old photograph of William Atkinson’s original shop in front of today’s location.

 

Article prepared by Alan Swain October 2021- Photos by permission Peter and Andy Thomas