The Reverend Alfred John Bamford
Alfred was born in Folkestone on the 16th of October, 1849. The first records of his artistic talents can be found in the detailed sketches of animals in his French exercise book of 1865. Despite his clear interest in both zoology and art, he joined the ministry, first serving in Belvedere, Hampshire and subsequently in the colonies at Calcutta and Shanghai.
In 1881 his first wife, Helena Joscelyne passed away. It was in Hong Kong that he met his second wife, Mary Heward, and they had a son, Alec Joscelyne Bamford: Mike Bamford's Grandfather. The family returned to England where they eventually settled in the newly established Garden City of Letchworth.
His time abroad enabled Alfred to experience a range of new landscapes and wildlife. He amassed a collection of sketches of scenes from China, India, Japan, Ceylon and many places in between, and published a whimsical account of his travels as a book called 'Turbans and Tails'.
As an active retiree in Letchworth, he become very involved in the Garden City movement as well as the Letchworth Natural History Society. A number of his paintings are still held at the North Hertfordshire Museum, which may be viewed on the BBC's online collection.