Rowland Hilder

I love Rowland Hilder’s naturalism – paintings of the countryside. His watercolours show a light touch and a person who knows the English light in all seasons.I realised who he was from the style of his art

But this was new to me. Hilder as an architectural artist? This appeared in Lilliput February 1951 and I liked the clearly delineated Art Deco building. Imagine my surprise to find it still exist – but only just!

Lilliput 1951 February p12

Lilliput 1951 February p12 Rowland Hilder


I managed to capture the building – which looks run down – from Google Streetview


Royal Arsenal's Co-operative Society building, Powis Street


and then it occured to me to look further….

Francis Frith have an old shot of the building, the ‘True Londoner’ has scanned an old postcard and thanks to JinnytheSquinny we have a wiki photo showing how run down it is and thanks to urban adventurers we have some of the decaying inside captured!

How sad that it’s been left to decay so badly, and will soon be knocked down if Greenwich Council gets its way. Mind you it would take loads to re-develop!

Secret London tells us: This Art Deco extension was opened in 1938, designed by the company architect SW Ackeroyd. The metal Crittall windows are a notable Art Deco feature – the firm did windows on the Titanic. Sadly, by the mid-1980s, RACS had over-extended itself and had to sell out to the Co-operative Movement. 136-152 Powis Street SE18


2 comments on “Rowland Hilder

  1. Keith Robson says:

    Rowland Hilder also drew a series around 1957 in ‘John Bull’ called ‘Can you spot the lawbreaker’. Each week he meticulously drew a busy street scene in which someone was Breaking the Law. I’d love to see some of these again as they had a profound influence on my wanting to become an artist!

    • standby4action says:

      I’ll see if I can find any – as I have a handful of John Bulls buried somewhere. Good to hear from you Keith

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