Above: I first posted about this postcard back in 2017, and included a map identifying the various features (click to view).

A framed oil painting of Goyts Bridge from the early 1900s recently came up for sale on ebay. It’s a version of one of my favourite postcard views of the picturesque hamlet, looking south from Errwood Bridge towards Goytshead Farmhouse, with the packhorse bridge on the left and the River Goyt running over the stepping stones to join Wildmoorstone Brook.

But it lacks much of the human detail which makes the postcard so appealing, including a dog bounding up to a lady dressed in black, and someone else standing by the farmhouse porch, chatting to a passer-by with another dog. It also shows the gypsy caravan on the right, with white chickens pecking in the farmhouse garden behind.

An early draft?

I wonder whether the oil painting might have been an early draft to show the postcard company. And they then asked for the extra human interest to be added. I’m no art critic, but he does seem better at landscapes rather than people (or dogs!). So perhaps he disliked the commercial demands made on his artistic skills and integrity and produced another version to sell privately.

The printed postcard has suffered from the effects of ageing, making the colours dull and muted. The quality of printing at this time was also fairly poor compared with today’s technology. So it’s interesting to see how it must have looked when first painted.

Above: This close-up of the postcard shows the added details, as well as the effects ageing has had on the colours (click to enlarge).

Above: Click to enlarge the framed oil painting.

The painting is signed George S Ramsay. I haven’t been able to discover anything about the artist but a Google search brings up a few more similar postcard views. One of them is postmarked 1905, so the ebay description of the early 1900s must be correct.

The gypsy caravan appears in quite a few photos over the years, including these from the 1930s. So it’s surprising that it must have survived so many winters in such an exposed position, standing beside the Goyt.

Above: These two paintings are also by George Ramsay (click to enlarge).

The one on the left is from Buxton Museum’s collection and in a very poor state. The one on the right is a postcard in which the lady has been added, and sold as a Goyt Valley view. So with these two, the postcard has fared better than the original oil painting – a reversal of the Goyt’s Bridge painting.

Prints for sale…

If anyone would like a print of the oil painting on good quality art paper, simply get in touch using the contact page and I’ll reply with details of how to make payment.

  • A5 (210 x 148mm): £8 + £3.00 postage.
  • A4 (297 x 210mm): £12 + £4.50 postage
  • A3 (420 x 297mm: £20 + £6 postage
  • (For more than one print, there would only be one postage charge.)
Topic tags (click for similar posts): Goyt's Bridge | Postcards