I spent today in the archives looking through newspapers and reports and I came across several obituaries for William Batho…
He entered the department in 1897 as a junior, being one of a staff of eight; in 1914 he was made assistant curator, and in 1928 deputy curator over a staff of 58. Mr Batho never professed a deep knowledge of art… “He was gifted with tact and common sense… It would be difficult to meet a more kindly, courteous and painstaking man. He would always listen patiently to grievances.”
The Guardian, ‘Death of Mr. W. Batho’, 3.9.1937
Perhaps his greatest work for the Manchester Art Galleries was the making of arrangements for the safe transportation of very valuable loan collections which came to the city from time to time.
Manchester Evening News, ‘He Guarded Art for 40 Years’ 2.9.1937
Poor William, he was in his 64th year. He was certainly patient with Mary’s grievances.
Although William was highly praised by the gallery it seems Mary was less celebrated when she died in 1949. Other than the small obituary in the Times we already know of, I found no cuttings in the archive for her whatsoever, I was quite annoyed as I flicked through the pages and other benefactors were mentioned, poor Mary. Its a sure sign I’ve become too involved with the project!