A story from one family business about another family  in the business

A story from one family business about another family in the business

Posted by Cass Art on 17th Jul 2020

Family is at the heart of Cass Art, and we love to hear stories of how art materials and creativity can bring people together. Especially in times such as these, human connection and our relationships with those we love has felt even more precious than before. In March we were contacted by customer Hannah Crocker who shared her own wonderful story about love, family and one of our favourite brands Winsor & Newton! She told us how her Grandparents, Sydney and Doris met whilst working together for Winsor & Newton.

 Syd and Doris on their wedding day

Syd and Doris' story

In the late 1940’s they both worked at the Winsor & Newton factory in Wealdstone, it’s there that they met and fell in love, having their first date in the Odeon cinema just behind the factory! Sydney’s role was to make the wooden paint boxes, and Doris finished the signature Winsor & Newton brushes with gold leaf.

A couple of highlights of Sydney’s career included making a paint box for the Prince of Wales in the 1970’s, and another for Harrods.

 Syd worked for Winsor & Newton for over 40 years, and after his 40th year of service he was presented with a commemorative tie and watch.

A picture of a factory day trip!

A newspaper clipping from the 1970's showing some of the factory staff.

Doris wore her Winsor & Newton work coat for her whole life when she did the housework.

Syd passed away in the early 1980’s, but Doris lived until almost her 92nd birthday, getting to know her Great-Grandchildren and still wearing her Winsor & Newton coat. Doris passed away in January 2019.  

A more recent photograph of Doris 


Although all sable brushes are of high quality, it can be said that the best are the Series 7 Kolinsky brushes, made from the tip of the tail of the Siberian Kolinsky sable. The sable hair is encased in rust-proof, seamless nickel plated ferrules with black polished handles. All series 7 brushes are hand-made in England by our expert brush makers, each with over 10 years’ experience.
Then and now in the Winsor & Newton Factory 
The standard of quality for this brush was set in 1866, when Her Majesty Queen Victoria gave orders that Winsor & Newton should produce the very finest water colour brushes in her favourite size, the No.7.


POINT - It should come to a crisp point and maintain that point during use.

SNAP & SPRING - The brush snaps crisply back into shape with the right degree of spring to allow the artist superior control with the right degree of ‘give and take’ between the brush and the painting surface.

FLOW CONTROL - The colour flows evenly and consistently from the point with enough capacity within the ‘belly’ of the brush to allow the artist to lay down flowing gestural strokes of colour.

Feeling Inspired?

We’d love to hear your own stories of connection around creativity, maybe your parents fell in love at their local art store, or you met your closest friends at the studio! Share them with us today at @cassart1984