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Felicity’s father, Charles Robert Ashbee, was an influential figure in the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. In his ‘Mile End Experiment’, he attempted to remake society - at least in microcosm – via architecture.
Ashbee was the son of a wealthy
Charles and wife Janet settled in the neighbouring village of Broad Campden, a hamlet about a mile from Chipping Campden, and four daughters followed. Jane Felicity Ashbee was born on February 22nd 1913.
The family business focused on hand craft products slowly declined. although some descendants of the original business continue; Ashbee then worked as a town planner and worked from 1918 in
From 1932 to 1936, she trained as a painter at the
At the outbreak of the Second World War, she joined the WAAF and was sent to the codebreaking centre at
After 1945 she worked briefly with her sister Helen in
Felicity developed a huge personal collection of photographs of
One of her great satisfactions in her late years was to see the historical reputation of her father and other members of her family growing through a series of books. Felicity herself wrote about the photographer William Carrick and, in 2002, herself wrote “Janet Ashbee: Love, Marriage and the Arts and Crafts Movement”, which brought her mother out of the shadows.
Felicity Ashbee died aged 95 on July 26th 2008.