I can find little about this stalwart of the Punch page. He was seldom given more than a sixteenth of that page in which to ply his trade but an analysis of his style repays the unprejudiced eye. He worked in planes, reinforced often with ropes or contours parallel to the picture plane - horizons, string, mountain ranges. The foreground is often cut away like some vast ant farm. He shows great flair in packing his frames, in balancing within and without the oblong panel. The startling quality of his oeuvre is the depiction of the stuff of production, grit, spots and hatching in hilariously excessive detail, way beyond the demands of the fragile point of the drawing.


It is a disproportionate response that generates its own irritation, admiration and, close up, a trance like state of contemplation. Scanning the images for magnification here only serves him better. His taut spidery line, and controlled massing of oblongs (mainly parallel to the picture plane) characterise this Petit Maitre, tres petit. Figure drawing was not his forté,e.g. the Pantomime Horse, but the bracing of the Stage Scenery adds its own innovative background on which no other illustrator would have lavished so much controlled detail. Silhouette massing of dense blacks (or as much as the drab printing quality of PUNCH permitted) seemed to have delighted him, and the urban setting of Muddlehampton Gas Works is a delight of intricate pipes and patterns.


For ILLUSTRATED he was permitted a better paper stock on which to explore a steady brief of nautical disasters and complications. His world is like a toy theatre set up in the bath.

Thanks to Elspeth I can now add further details of this talented artist who, she tells me, died in the 1990's. Mary and John ran the Lyndhurst Guest House, Congresbury, Bristol. They were "kind people and raised a lot of money for charity." The clipping she sent (beneath) , from the Western Mercury 1996 expresses that wonder that he finds himself remembered. So justly deserved.




the last scrapbook card