The Painters

Edwin Henry

Edwin Henry Meadows, Jeff and Roger’s dad, was born at Arden, Parkhurst Road, Bexley on 16 November 1906. He describes himself as ‘a very shy boy’ and ‘not a bright scholar’. He writes: “My first school was Upton College at Bexley Heath where I got the cane almost daily for my bad writing (I was left-handed and had much difficulty managing a spluttery pen in my right hand).” And later: “Dartford Grammer School meant cycling across Dartford Heath and to help me speed along I used to hang onto the backs of lorries which in those days seldom did more than 20 mph.” He speaks of ’several clashes with authority’ and it appears his father interceded more than once on his behalf finally removing him from Dartford Grammer over a perceived injustice. His education ended when the family moved to Beech in 1922.

EHM at his first shop in Church Street
Edwin Henry (Whisk) with Joan Audrey Powell (Peg) in Bournemouth in 1938

Edwin Henry married Joan Audrey Powell, known as Peg, at St Lawrence Church in Alton on 25 March 1940. They had met a rehearsal for a production of Aladdin, adapted and produced by ‘The Two Eds’: Eddie Meadows and his friend Ed Plomer. Peg’s first words to her future husband were: “I am here, O my master”. The performance at the Assembly Rooms in Alton was on Peg’s 19th birthday. See poster.

Edwin Henry’s own family knew him only as Whisk. He and Peg had two boys: Jeffrey Powell Meadows was born in Holybourne on July 9th 1943 and Roger Powell Meadows on January 25th 1949.

Whisk was an enthusiastic photographer and much of the material on this website comes from his notes. He was a wireless technician in WW2. He and Peg kept an electrical shop in Lenten Street, Alton from shortly after the war until his untimely death in a train accident in Portugal on February 13 1979.

Peg passed away peacefully at home on April 29th 2019. She was 100 years old. See Peg’s pages

Home Movie
The Shop

‘Meadows Radio Service’ moved to Lenten Street and became just ‘Meadows’ and then ‘The Lampshade Shop’. Whisk was well known for his ads in the local paper. Here are a few of them.  Click to enlarge.

A Novel Route-Finder
Alton Herald January 1973
Whisk and Peg 1973
Washington DC 1973

Edwin Henry Meadows | Birth Certificate

Joan Audrey Powell | Birth Certificate

Edwin Henry and Joan Audrey | Marriage Certificate