UT Newsletter Digital


UT Newsletter Digital
September 2012
From the President
Despite the deluges that were the hallmark of our spring and ‘summer’
until the opening of the Olympics in July, the Unione Ticinese events have
been blessed with good weather, which I hope will continue into our autumn season. The summer has been marked by a Pro Ticino meeting in
Switzerland, attended on our behalf by Valeria Ossola and Joe Broggini,
while she and Ian Giuliani represented the Society at Louis Jacomelli’s
funeral. In accordance with his wishes, we shall be making a donation in
his name to the little church of Santa Maria del Castello next door to the
ruins of the castle of Serravalle near Semione.
Back in London, Glaziers Hall next to London Bridge acted as a focus for
the Swiss during the Olympics. It was the site for the 1 August celebrations which were addressed by no-one less than the Swiss foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, who revealed he had a special tie to England, having met his future wife here while they were learning English in a South
Coast town! And, as we head into the autumn, there are two events, before the traditional Castagnata, which may be of interest: the autumn outing and the round table about Swiss bank accounts which, with our support, will be taking place at the Embassy on 25 September.
All the best,
Peter Barber
Presidente dell’ Unione Ticinese
Carlo Gatti & Charles Dickens
Spring Walk
Saturday 26 May 2012
About 25 people, appropriately including descendants of Carlo
Gatti’s brothers, spent a few hours visiting Little Italy in Clerkenwell. Areas visited included the Italian church and the very Italian
café next door, the nearby lane where Carlo Gatti is first recorded
as doing business in London. From here we viewed the sites of
his first shops, as well as a great medieval church and hidden
courtyards off Holborn very little changed since the time of
Charles Dickens. The next stage took walkers into Fitzrovia to see
buildings that were at the heart of Ticinese community life until as
recently as 1980 including the church of St Charles Borromeo in
Ogle Street, that was saved from destruction in 1921 by Linda
Meschini (to whom the Unione Ticinese owes its 1924 banner).
The walkers also viewed the building that has recently been revealed to have been the workhouse, just down the road from one
of the homes of Charles Dickens as a child and young man, that
may have been the inspiration for the one in Oliver Twist. All in all,
an interesting blend of English and Ticinese nostalgia.
Barbecue in Canterbury
Sunday 17 June 2012
A small but fortunate band were once again Antoinette and John
Groom’s guests for this traditional gathering in their large garden
at Canterbury. What we lacked in numbers we gained in weight,
with some exercise to balance it: between lunch and tea, a higher
percentage than normal took part in a walk, led by John, through
the pretty grounds of the nearby university. Beautiful views were
to be had towards the Cathedral, and young ducks and rabbits
were on hand to delight the adults as well as the children who
took part. Thank you again Antoinette and John – and Rosalina
who once again organised the raffle.
Peter Barber leads walkers through a court yard in Clerkenwell.
Unione Ticinese Spring Walk May 2012
Autumn Outing
Sunday 23 September 2012
For the Autumn Outing this year we are reverting to the old pattern: Just turn up if you feel like it! We shall be going to Clandon
Park, in Surrey, near Guildford, South-West of London and easily
reachable from junction 10 of the M25. This grand house, designed by the Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni was the home of
the earls of Onslow, who still own the surrounding land. It was
created to impress visitors with the power of the family, which
over the centuries has supplied parliament with three speakers
and, until last year with the death of the 7th earl, had been continuously represented in parliament since the sixteenth century.
The house offers not only beautiful gardens and space for a picnic, but - most relevant to us - a magnificent great hall with decorative stucco work from the early 1730s by Giovanni Bagutti and
Giuseppe Artari who were born, respectively in Rovio and Arogno
near the Lago di Lugano. They were described at the time by the
architect Colen Campbell as ‘the best fret-workers that ever came
to England’ while no less a person than Daniel Defoe thought
Bagutti ‘the finest artist of those particular works now in England’.
We saw their sober, restrained style last year when we visited St
Martin’s-in-the-Fields. At Clandon Park you can see them in more
flamboyant mode. This is also the house for you if you are interested in tapestries and porcelain which were bequeathed by Hannay Gubbay, a member of the Sassoon family. There is a restaurant in the undercroft and a shop. Just up the road is Hatchlands
House and if you are ambitious you can get a ticket for admission
to both.
Stucco work at Clandon Park by Giovanni Bagutti and Giuseppe Artari
The house and gardens are open from 11 to 5 pm. The house is
owned by the National Trust, and if you are not a member you
pay £8.10 for admission or about £13 for a combined ticket with
Hatchlands with reductions for children. If you arrive using public
transport, you get a reduction of £1!
The house is at West Clandon on A247, 3 miles east of Guildford; if using A3 follow signposts to Ripley to join A247 via B2215
You can reach the house by going to Clandon Station, turning left
there and walking a mile.
We will be meeting in the car park at 12pm and look forward to
seeing you there!
Forum: Bilateral Banking Agreement
Tuesday 25 September 2012
Swiss Embassy, 16-18 Montague Place, London W1H 2BQ
From 7pm
The forum on bilateral banking agreements and the affects for Swiss
bank account holders will be held at the Swiss Embassy at 7pm on Tuesday 25th September 2012.
This round table, organised by "Presence Switzerland" with FOSSUK
and the support of the Swiss British Chamber of Commerce, will be devoted to the Switzerland/UK bilateral banking agreement and its implication for Swiss Nationals resident in the UK. Don’t be influenced by the
whisperers – come along and find out from the experts! For more information please contact [email protected]
News of Members
Our heartiest congratulations and wishes for many, many years of happiness to Paul Allegranza, our member in Zurich, who married Deirdre
Deegan in the Chiesa Nuova in Locarno on 18 August.
We send our heartiest good wishes to those who are, incredibly, celebrating their 90th birthdays - Renata Bruin (25 August), Elena Bertin (18th
September) and Elsie Abate (22nd September).
Congratulations also to John and Antoinette Groom and to Maddalena
Bucher who have joined the grandparents’ club: John and Antoinette’s
daughter Anna is now the mother of Isobel and Maddalena’s daughter,
Ottavia, had twin boys, Luca and Maxwell.
Best wishes for speedy recoveries to Cynthia Parrott and Daniel Pedroletti who have both seen more of the inside of hospitals than they would
have liked recently.
Giornico Church by Boyce, 1856 (Watercolour)
Vendemmia in Ticino
One of next year’s big London exhibitions, at Tate Britain, will be on the
Pre-Raphaelites. It may come as a surprise to many of you, that Giornico
in the Valle Leventina was particularly popular with them, largely because
of its magnificent Romanesque basilica church of S. Nicolao da Mira. The
Pre-Raphaelite artist George Price Boyce, who was then in his twenties,
visited in August 1856 and enjoyed painting in the open air, surrounded by
‘a trio of country lasses’ who sang ‘quaint ditties of the country’ to him.
The Ticinesi among us can easily imagine what they were. Unfortunately
his enthusiasm got the better of him and he dislocated his hip while chasing after them one day. As a result he was laid up in Giornico for the next
three months and so was there during the Vendemmia. On the back page
of the newsletter is a quote, where he describes it to his friend William
Allingham, the husband of the better-known artist Helen Allingham, for
your consideration.
It is sad to report that in the intervening 150-odd years, the way of training the vines has changed in Giornico and they are now the ‘ugly, short,
stiff, and monotonous things tied to sticks’ that Boyce complained of. If
you want to see what he was talking about, however, you can see them in
profusion between Moghegno and Giumaglio in the Vallemaggia where
they enjoy special protection.
“I should like you to have seen the chestnut harvest, and, especially, the
vintage, at Giornico. The vines are not those ugly, short, stiff, and monotonous things tied to sticks, that one meets with in France or by the Rhine,
but free and full and forming a canopy of green and purple at a man’s
height from the ground, extending often many acres without interruption.
You may in some measure conceive the effect of such a vineyard in vivid
sunlight, the leaves and fruit glowing greeny-gold and crimson with transmitted light, tempered by the grey bloom and white lustre of their upper
surfaces, and the network of flickering light and shadow in their supports
and grass beneath; and then, giving wonderful life to the picture, the varied groups of vintagers from the hills and villages about, with their blue
skirts and white shirt sleeves tucked up, their heads covered with scarlet
and many-coloured fichus upturned, and their bare arms and hands, winestained, uplifted picking the purple pendants in the golden chequered light
and flood of warm autumnal air. In fine contrast to this were the same
vineyards looked at from above, at the commencement of a storm, when
the big, heavy drops, heard afar off in their coming, began pattering loud
upon the floor of leaves extending almost across the valley, and the fitful
gusts of wind swooping over the green pavement came bristling it into
hurrying spaces of shivering grey. Of course there was no painting either
the one or the other, even had I been in the cue.” [GP Boyce to W. Allingham, Brighton, 9 February 1857 in Virginia Surtees (ed.), The Diaries of
George Price Boyce (Norwich: Real World. 1980), pp.15-16].
Dates for the Diary
Plan your attendance of Swiss/Ticinese Events
Sunday 23 September 2012
Autumn Outing
We will be meeting at midday in the car park at Clandon Park, near Guildford, South-West of London in Surrey
Tuesday 25 September 2012
Swiss Embassy Forum
The forum covers the theme of the Switzerland/UK bilateral banking
agreement and implications to Swiss nationals resident in the UK.
Saturday 3 November 2012
Castagnata at the Swiss Embassy
Date to be confirmed.
Sunday 4 November 2012
Grave Visit
We will be visiting the society’s graves.

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