The Hosking Family

Who were the Hosking family?

Hugh Richard (Dick) Hosking and Alma Ramsey were the parents of Sarah, who founded the Trust using the family surname.

Dick (1904-91) came from a Warwickshire artisan family that rose socially.

Dick and his Twin Sister
Dick as a baby with his twin sister and parents 1905

Click on any image to see it full size

Alma came from a property-owning family that sank disastrously.

Alma and her sister
Alma (on the right) with her sister in 1914

They were both anomalies in their families by exhibiting artistic abilities and they met at the Royal College of Art in 1926 where Dick studied mural painting and Alma studied sculpture.

Dick and Alma 1929
Photograph of the pair c1928

They married in 1930.

Wedding on Christmas Eve
Wedding photograph Christmas Eve 1930

They had two children, Simon and Sarah.

Stencil Christmas Card
Stencil Christmas card 1940 by Dick showing the family

Dick devoted himself to art education and became the principal of Coventry College of Art (1948-65) and he was a founder member of the Warwick Society in 1952 (one of the earliest civic societies).

Edwardian fancy dress
Dick and Alma in Edwardian fancy dress at the Christmas Ball

The family lived in Warwick at Coten End, and Simon and Sarah attended local schools.

The Family in 1955
The family in 1955

Both Dick and Alma continued to work as artists and enjoyed modest successes.

The Finding of Moses
The Finding of Moses
(77.5 x 83cms) oil painting 1933,
Dick Hosking, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Dick’s best known public work is his design for the mosaic of the Coventry Martyrs, Broadgate House, Coventry (1956)

Coventry Martyrs mosaic
Coventry Martyrs mosaic

Alma worked as an artist from her basement studio in Warwick until her death in 1993. She drew and sculpted continuously and especially loved the Rollwright Stones in Oxfordshire.

Charcoal drawing of Rollwright Stones Charcoal drawing of Rollwright Stones
Charcoal drawings 1969

Alma’s best known public work is the Nativity and Epiphany Crib at Coventry Cathedral for which she was commissioned to make the figures by Basil Spence in 1962. (It was restored in 2007)

Nativity Crib 2007 Epiphany Crib 2007
Coventry Cathedral crib displayed for Christmas and re-displayed for Epiphany

Dick died of a stroke in 1991 and Alma of leukaemia in 1993. They both had broad cultural interests and the Hosking Houses Trust aims to reflect these in its developing work.

Work by both Dick and Alma is deposited in the Leamington Museum and Art Gallery with a prepared biography of each of them. Further work by Dick is in the archives at de Montfort University, Leicester. Much of Alma’s work is in private collections, also in the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry and both have public work in Broadgate House, Coventry.

Memorial to Dick Hosking

Memorial to Dick in the chancel of St Mary’s Church, Warwick
designed and carved by Alec Peever 1996