Miss Sylvia Lake Armstrong was born in Edwinstowe in October 1917, in a house called Culloden on Clipstone Road. She became an artist and became known as a painter of landscapes, portraits and wood engraving.
Her family were actively involved in village life and often supported others.
Her father, Frank (1871 – 1945) trained as a solicitor. He joined Bryan and Armstrong Solicitors in Mansfield in 1902.
Old Meeting House Mansfield
He was a trustee of Eight Men’s Intake (which supported St Mark’s Church, Mansfield General Hospital and Queen Elizabeth’s School), a Councillor, was Hon. secretary of the Rufford Hunt as well as supporting many other good causes. He also bred and raced horses.
Sylvia’s mother Phyllis (1883 – 1963) was also an active supporter of village life. She organised church events such as bazaar and fetes, helped with fund raising for ‘our boys’ during the war and supported the well-being of others. In 1927, she published a book of poem, ‘Round About Sherwood – A Medley of Verse’.
Both of her parents belonged to ‘The Primrose League’ an organisation for spreading Conservative principles.
Reference – Wikipedia
She lived at Culloden with her 5 brothers and sisters:
- Frances Gabrielle (1905 – 1934) married Major Richard Mount-Stephen Charles Harley, son of Richard James Harley, M.D., of Cavendish Hall.
- Philip Bryan (1908 – 1922)
- Captain HILARY JOHN BRADLEY ARMSTRONG (1910 – 1995) of the 9th Sherwood Foresters, later he became a solicitor.
- Paul O (1913 – 2007)
- Phyllis Marian (November 1921 – nd)
Sylvia studied at the Mansfield College of Art before she attended the Slade School where she achieved her Diploma in Fine Art. In 1945, she was awarded the Antique Painting 1st Prize with the ‘Discobolus’ after a Cast from the Antique. In 1953, she lived in Derby and was Art Mistress at the Essex County Technical school. Later, she became a painter of landscapes, portraits, wood engraving. Her work was exhibited at the London Portrait Gallery, London Portrait Society and Nottingham Castle art gallery.
She was commissioned to paint various portraits of leading citizens in the Nottingham and Mansfield area. In April 1941, she painted a portrait in oils, of Mr Harrop White, in recognition of his 50 years’ service to Mansfield General Hospital.