Clive Wilson, the oldest descendant of the Wilson family, visits HCS to paint a watercolour of Tranby Croft

We are delighted to report that Clive Wilson, the grandson of Clive Harry Adolphus Wilson and great-grandson of Arthur and Mary, has spent a few days with us. He is a professional artist who we have commissioned to complete a watercolour of Tranby Croft.

Clive with his wife Catherine, and Headmistress, Alex Wilson

Tranby Croft was originally a large Victorian country house and estate built in 1874-76 by Arthur Wilson of Thomas Wilson and Son Shipping Line in Hull. It is perhaps most famous for the Baccarat Scandal of 1890 when Arthur played host to the Prince of Wales, and there was a resulting accusation of cheating by one of the players present. Princes, ambassadors, explorers and politicians – including Winston Churchill have all passed through the door of this historic mansion. Arthur himself held various titles such as Master of the Holderness Hunt, Sheriff of Hull and Chairman of the shipping committee of Hull Chamber of Commerce. He and his family were also known as generous local philanthropists and benefactors.

Clive and Catherine in the Baccarat Room

We enjoyed hearing his memories and recollections of the family and house, and he kindly agreed to allow some of our pupils to paint alongside him during his period with us. This is a unique visit by, as Clive himself says, ‘the oldest Wilson descendant gracing its walls’.

Clive joined by Senior pupils
Clive with Prep pupils

Clive and his wife Catherine, enjoyed a tour of the School with Head Girl, Rufaro and Prefect, Jake who is studying A Level History. They were given a history tour of Tranby Croft by Head of MFL, Gordon Stephenson, who organised the visit. 

Rufaro and Jake with Catherine and Clive

Clive's website states that ‘The effects of atmosphere, temperature and light are my special interest – particularly back-lit subjects using rich colour and interesting reflected lights in the shadows to make the picture sing. To many people, pure watercolour is the most beautiful and expressive of painting media – translucent, infinitely subtle, luminous… Perfect for capturing the fleeting qualities of atmosphere, temperature and light’. More information on him, and a gallery of his work, can be found at

Headmistress, Alex Wilson said, ''It was a pleasure to have Clive and Catherine with us here at Tranby Croft. Being able to bring together members of the original family who built the house the with current pupils and staff was hugely enjoyable and really brought to life the rich heritage we enjoy.''

Click here to view the gallery of photos.



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