Duncan’s Place


Art exhibition with a difference in Tonbridge

An unusual venue was the location for the 4Art exhibition in March 2019. We showed a range of contemporary art at R Allen Ltd, 18 Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge.

Local residents will know this address as the motor engineers run by Duncan Welch, whose family owned the business for 71 years. The premises were used originally as a repairers for horse-drawn carriages from 1896-1938. Roy Allen then started the motor engineers, handing it over to the Welch family in 1947.

As well as the main building, there were workshops and outbuildings used for storage where little had been thrown away over the years and was the inspiration for the 4Art artists – machinery, tools, spare parts and paraphernalia reflecting the progress of the car through the decades.

Duncan Welch has now retired and R Allen Ltd ceased trading at the end of March 2019 and the riverside site will be developed.

The 4Art group spent two years exploring this historic site. From the sketches and drawings we made there emerged a wide range of contemporary art that was displayed just before the site was demolished. Paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures reflected the atmosphere and history of a remarkable business and buildings that have stood the test of time. The exhibition was called Duncan’s Place.

Duncan’s Place

1-15 March 2019 at R Allen Ltd, 18 Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge, TN9 2EX



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