Saturday, 13 September 2014

Britain is a country where Paliamentarians who, having said "Goodbye" to their sketchwriter, Simon Hoggart, finally debated the cancer which took him from them

At the end of a week in which Simon resurfaced in the Guardian today in an article he had written about Ian Paisley, it is entirely fitting that the cancer which killed him at the age of 67 in January should have been the focus of a Parliamentary Debate in Committee Room 10 on Monday afternoon : 'Backbench Business : Pancreatic Cancer with Christopher Chope in the chair'. Fitting, because as Parliamentary Sketchwriter for the Guardian for twenty years, he knew Westminster intimately and Westminster, its personnel and MP's knew him. After his death, Michael Deacon of the Telegraph wrote : 'Won't be the same watching Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow, without him muttering asides two seats away.'

Simon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2010 which, by that point, had spread to his spleen and metastasised in his lungs and so was pronounced 'terminal'. With this form of the disease he might have expected to live for five to seven months, but thanks to cutting-edge treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital, managed to fight on for another three and a half years. He proudly considered himself to be the 'poster boy' of pancreatic cancer treatment and was delighted every time his doctors showed off his stats at medical conferences around the world.

Had he lived for another eight months, he might have been present at the press table in Committee Room 10 on Monday afternoon and :

* would have entirely approved of the fact that the debate was taking place, not because of a Parliamentary backbench initiative, but due to the efforts of a member of the public from Scunthorpe called Maggie Watts, who had lost her husband to the disease at the age of 48 in 2009 and had fought hard and succeeded in getting 100,000 signatures on an e-petition to 'Provide more funding and awareness for pancreatic cancer to aid long overdue progress in earlier detection and, ultimately, improved survival rates'.

* would have been appreciative that, sitting in the public gallery behind him, Maggie was from the North East, because his own world view had been shaped by his family roots in the industrial North and her supporters, adhering as he did to the spirit of the handwritten note he attached to his battered imperial typewriter as the Guardian's political reporter at the age of 27 in 1973 which read : 'Always remember, you are not writing for your contacts, for MPs or civil servants, but for a clergyman in Norfolk, a busy housewife in Penge and, with luck, two or three other people'.

* would have approved of the presence of fellow Lancashire-born actor, Julie Hesmondhalgh in the corner of the public gallery, who as Hayley Cropper in 'Coronation Street', suffered from the disease and used her celebrity status to promote the petition after heart-wrenching scenes where, as Hayley, she decided to take control of her fate before the disease and drugs stole it from her.

* would have also approved of the lead speaker in the debate, Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe, haling from the North and educated like him, in Leicestershire and got his degree in English at the University of Hull, where Simon's famous father, Richard, had been a lecturer some years before.
* would have no doubt echoed Nic's tribute to his constituent, Maggie : "who started the petition with a determination to push pancreatic cancer further into the public’s conscience and higher up the political agenda. That we are here today in a packed Westminster Hall is tribute to her efforts and to those of everyone in the pancreatic cancer community—the charities, clinicians, patients, survivors and family members and friends of patients—who energised the nation to say through the petition that the time is right for us to up our collective game on pancreatic cancer."

* would have been familiar with the fact that his cancer  "was the fifth leading cause of UK cancer death with the worst survival rate of all cancers yet it receives only  about 1% of research spend and its five  year survival of 3% hasn’t improved in over 40 years, whilst survival rates for other cancers have" and agreed that : "It has not been a public or political priority and that has to change."

* would have have noted pancreatic cancer survivor, Ali Stunt's presence in the gallery and Nic's quoting her saying that in the "past 4 years since I founded Pancreatic Cancer Action I have met and got to know some fabulous people who have bravely fought and helped me raise awareness of this cruel disease. Not many of them are still alive, but all will have a special place in my heart. It is and always will be my mission to get more people diagnosed sooner—so more can have the same outcome as me.”

may have recognised the experience of the consultant surgeon and surgical oncologist who told Nic : “The patient turns up and the chap says, ‘Well it’s not reflux and I’m a reflux doctor. Back to your GP.’ So he goes back to the GP—more delay is coming. The GP says, ‘Well it isn’t reflux. Maybe now he has some back pain or something. We’ll try the spine doctor.’ So he goes to the spine surgeon. The spine surgeon says, ‘Well, it’s not spine pain. Back to your GP.’ This is the common scenario. The patient becomes a tennis ball.”

* would have been amused when Maggie's supporters behind him in the gallery clapped in applause when Nic had finished and interrupted the Chair, Christopher Chope who got as far as "I call" and forced to pause, continued : "Order. It is not customary for us to applaud. We keep quiet and listen. I am sure that the mere presence of so many people in the Public Gallery is an indication of the strength of feeling on this important issue. I call Eric Ollerenshaw" at which point the usher appeared and told the Gallery audience that if they did it again he would "have to clear the Gallery."

* would have sympathised with Eric who began with : "May I also put on the record that my interest in the subject comes from having lost my partner to pancreatic cancer in 2009, only six weeks after diagnosis" and agreed when he continued : "We are currently in a Catch-22 situation :  new researchers do not generally want to enter the field, partly because it is deemed difficult to make advances in it and partly because the funding is not there. But the funding is not there because not enough research applications are being made. I firmly believe that we need to break that vicious circle and to pump-prime research into pancreatic cancer, making sure that we hit the minimum funding level required to gain critical mass. I also firmly believe that the Government can and should play a role in that."

* would have have been behind Barbara Keeley with her questions to the Minister : "What action could the Minister take and what action is she taking, to boost public awareness of pancreatic cancer and among GPs and other medical professionals, of pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms?" and "What action will she take to end the state of affairs in which a patient can be pictured as a tennis ball? What can be done to give GPs more direct access to CT scans or ensure that patients with symptoms that could be pancreatic cancer have all the appropriate investigations in a more timely way?"

* would have listened with interest to the Under-Secretary for Health, Jane Ellison when she admitted that :  "this subject is certainly not low on my radar" and "fundamentally this is hard: it is a hard disease that is hard to diagnose and research... This is not easy territory, but we need to do better; we all know that and that is acknowledged...I will ask the Chief Medical Officer if she is happy to meet with me and the debate’s co-sponsors to look in a bit more detail at the research package and to understand the research journey and where it might go We all know that change needs to come and that it will not be easy, but we can make change. We have seen it in other hard areas of medicine, so it is not impossible; it is just difficult. Through the Government working in partnership with patients, charities, the nation’s excellent research teams, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS, as well as by drawing on international data, we can make progress, and we all know that we must."
* would, after the debate, have been able to check the transcript :
and the video record :

* would have been heartened by the fact that, in Nic's words :

"The campaign must go on, beyond today and into the future. Campaigners are here today in strong heart and with a strong determination to ensure that that is the case" and that Maggie and her redoubtable band are pledged to fight on and shall watch to see if the Minister keeps her promise and matches her words with her actions.


At the time of Simon's passing :

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Britain is no longer a country for an old and rare political sketch writer called Simon Hoggart who wielded a truthful, witty pen

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Britain is still a country for and said "Happy Birthday" to an old script writer called Jimmy Perry and remember with affection his 'Dad's Army'

Jimmy Perry, most famous for devising and co-writing the BBC sitcom, 'Dad's Army' with David Croft was 91 years old yesterday. His series ran for 80 episodes from 1968 to '77 between my 21st and 30th birthdays and those formative years of job, marriage and first child. I rembember both it, and those years, with great affection. I suppose, looking back that, although I was born after the Second World War, I was familiar with it because so many of the people close to me had lived through it, not least my Mother and Father who were in London during the Blitz and uncles who had fought in the Army in Europe and North Africa.

Things you possibly didn't know about Jimmy, that :

* was born in Barnes, London in 1923 and became fascinated with the variety theatre at an early age where is heroes were Arthur Askey, Ted Ray and the 'Crazy Gang'.

* when his father asked him : "what do you want to do when you leave school ?", told him that he was determined "to be a famous comedian" to which his father replied : "You stupid boy!"

* joined the 'Watford Home Guard' at the start of The Second World War at the age of 16 in 1939 and later based the 'Dad's Army' character, mummy's boy 'Private Pike', on himself and has said of his Mother that : "She didn't go so far as making me wear a scarf, but she came pretty near".

* from 1954 to 1965, ran the Palace Theatre, Watford, a repertory company which produced a different play or show every week and whilst working for Joan Littlewood at the 'Theatre Workshop' in Stratford East, had the idea for a show based on the Home Guard he called 'The Fighting Tigers' which became 'Dad's Amy' and recalled :

* his co-writer, David Crofts who died in 2012 recalled :

* wrote the theme tune for 'Dad's Army', "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?" and won the Ivor Novello Award in 1971 for 'Best TV Signature Tune' : and achieved comedy immortality with his "Don't tell him Pike" episode :

* was drafted into the Army in 1941 and sent to Burma, where he joined the Royal Artillery Concert Party which entertained the troops and his experiences informed 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'.

* after the War, trained as an actor at RADA, spending his holidays working as a Redcoat in Butlin's Holiday Camps which inspired him to create 'Hi-de-Hi' :

* at the end of the 1970s, became involved as presenter in a BBC series called 'Turns', dedicated to films of nearly forgotten music hall acts of the 1930's and 1940's :

* published his autobiography,'A Stupid Boy' in 2002.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Goodbye" to an old photographer with an old Gandolfi camera called Ken Griffiths

Ken, whose greatest love was creating photo-essays, documentaries about people and places around the world, using his beloved 10x8 Gandolfi field camera, has died at the age of 69.

He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand to Cornish born mother and South Welsh father and came to Britain at the age of 24 in 1969, enrolled at the Royal College of Art and then stayed on in London, while spending much time in Wales. He was renowned among modern photographers for his use of a whole-plate camera made by the Italian-Scottish Gandolfi family at their 100-year-old business in Peckham, South London.

With his with his big wooden camera, its tripod perched on his shoulders, beneath his battered felt Aussie outback hat, he had the appearance of a throw back to a photographer from another age. In producing his pictures he used either platinum printing or a colour technique known as 'carbro printing', invented in 1863 and almost extinct when he picked it up 100 years later. It involved printing in many layers with pigments rather than dyes, which allowed him to play with colour, contrast, sharpness and detail and gave his photographs their rare, microscopic depth, which often made them look like paintings :

His first assignments in Britain were for the Telegraph Colour Magazine and won the magazine's 'Young Photographer of the Year' award in 1971, which was instrumental in getting him a job at the Sunday Times Magazine, at the time, the pinnacle for British photographers. It was here, that he created his series of 12 photos of old couple, Mr and Mrs Sweetman of Three Cups Corner, East Sussex. Showing the changes in their garden over 12 months with Mrs Sweetman's absence in the last frame, it earned him a place at the high table of twentieth century photographers working in Britain. The fact that, in the last frame, he positioned Mr Sweetman in the place on the path where his wife had once stood, makes her absence and his loss all the more poignant.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Britain is no longer a country for and laments the loss of Stephen Lloyd, unsung hero of charity and sustainable development

upBEAt  is a Community Interest Company developed by the charity, 'Bramley Elderly Action' to help fund its work for the old men and women in Bramley, a suburb of Leeds in Yorkshire. It offers a community mentoring service and has opened a community shop offering second hand, donated goods at affordable prices. Along with the other 10,000 C.I.C's which have been registered in Britain since 2005, it would not exist had it not been for the work of Stephen Lloyd, who has tragically died in a boating accident at the age of 63.

What you possibly didn't know about Stephen, that he :

* was born in 1951 in Barnet, North London, the son of Mary and Thomas, a civil servant and linchpin of his local Catholic community.

* passed the 11+ examination, attended Finchley Catholic Grammar School for Boys, then Bristol University in 1969, where he read history and met his wife, Lorna and after graduating in 1972, embarked on a postgraduate certificate in education course at Cambridge University but changed to a law after a chance encounter with legal scholar, Clive Perry in a lift, who 'saw something in him' and facilitated his conversion..

* left the country with Lorna for a year in Africa at the age of 22 in 1973 and taught in Sudan with the Voluntary Service Overseas, an experience which left a lasting impression on them both, stimulated his interest in the voluntary sector and coincided with a famine in the West of the country and Darfur.

* on return to Britain, trained at the leading law firm, 'Freshfields', as an articled clerk, moved briefly to the 'Frizzell Insurance Group' and then, in 1980, at the age of 29, joined the fledgling commercial and charity solicitors, 'Bates Wells Braithwaite', where he was to spend the rest of his career and where the ethos created by the founder, Andrew Phillips, suited him perfectly.

* was the adviser who helped Zarine Kharas and Anne-Marie Huby found 'Justgiving' in 2000 as a company providing online services for the collection of charitable donations and of whom Zarine said : 'Such was his generosity and vision that were it not for his personal encouragement and belief at every step, Justgiving may not have seen the light of day'

* helped to create the legal framework for the 2001 'Eden Project' in Cornwall, with Tim Smit its founder recalling that : "I never once heard him downbeat or lost for a solution to whatever problem we were seeking to resolve. most of all, he was a kind and generous man whose advice was always coloured by a human perspective and an insistence that the Law should serve the spirit of the intentions, not just a mechanistic means of controlling events."

* put social enterprise on the legal map by inventing the community interest company over a bottle of claret with Roger Warren Evans at Balls Brothers wine-bar in Cheapside where he sketched out the idea on a table napkin and next day produced a short schedule of the appropriate amendments needed to the Companies Act. 

* built the new CIC companies on the old British tradition of co-operatives, community enterprises and trading charities, providing a structure by which the benefits of a business could be shared between the social entrepreneur and the community and saw the sector grow to make a £18.5bn contribution to the economy and saw the model replicated in Canada and Australia.

* brought, on behalf of the Environment Foundation, a test case against the Charity Commission arguing the case of 'sustainable development' as a charitable objective and when they were initially denied, was in the words of John Elkington "utterly incensed" and "fought our case for two years, and when it extended into a third year volunteered to continue pro bono. It was a joy to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with such a man, alongside the late Helen Holdaway, during what proved to be a fairly protracted fight. In the end, thanks to Stephen, we won."
* saw his establishment of sustainable development as a charitable objective incorporated into the Charities Act in 2006, benefit organisations like the 'Fairtrade Foundation' and served as legal adviser to Lord Hodgson's review of the Act in 2012. 

*  came up with the notion of a low-cost insurer for not-for-profit organisations, part-owned by the sector itself and saw the 'Charity and Social Enterprise Insurance Management', set up in 2007, which now insures more than 2,000 charities and social enterprises at much reduced cost.

*  in an article for 'Charity Financials' in 2009, was critical of the forces behind the financial crash with :
'the rampant conflicts of interest, the blatant self enrichment; the reckless piratical behaviour that has driven our economic system onto the rocks' and concluded with a quotation from President Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address in 1933: "The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilisation. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truth. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit."'

 * was interviewed at the Tällberg Forum in Sweden in 2011 and spoke about his aim to replicate U.S. low profit liability companies which mingled private and public sector money by creating a new legal structure which avoided expensive regulatory clearance, bringing "rather technical, nerdy, boring changes that can have huge social impact."
* rose to the position senior partner at BWB and ensured that it kept its close connection with the not-for-profit sector and turned its charity division into the 'Charity and Social Enterprise Department', encouraged flexible working and was instrumental in ensuring that talented female lawyers made progress in the company. 

* said in an article for BWB in 2013 entitled : 'Social enterprise - friend or foe ?' concluded : 'Robert Kennedy, in the speech he gave following the assassination of Martin Luther King, quoted 'the Greeks' when he said we needed “to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of the world”. Charities and social enterprises can help tame that savageness. We need as many of them as possible and should encourage them as much as we can.'

 * had lived in Greenwich, South London, since 1974 and been on the board of a number of local charities and was a Quaker and member of the Blackheath Meeting who followed the precepts of his faith.
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:
"Stephen's unparalleled expertise, combined with his innovative thinking and sheer passion for the work of charities and social enterprises, made him rightly one of the most respected figures in the voluntary sector."

Rod Schwartz, founder and CEO of ClearlySo, helping social entrepreneurs to raise capital said :
“He took on all sorts of causes, cases and clients – sometimes for no fee, often at low fees, just to be helpful to some socially-oriented enterprise trying to get onto the first rung of the difficult and slippery ladder we call success.” and was “the godfather of many enterprises which populate the social sector” and was “indefatigable” and “endlessly connecting people… But despite all of that he was incredibly humble”.

Sir Tim Smit said :
"He was one of those rare people for whom it can be said that when he walked into a room, the room felt better for his being there."

Britain is certainly a better country for him having been here.

A post for another unsung hero :

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Goodbye" to an old and forgotten debt-busting philanthropist called Martin Dent

Friday, 29 August 2014

Britain is a country and no country for old men whose 'care' is auctioned out to the lowest bidder

Local authorities in England and Wales have been tendering out blocks of contracts to care companies for a long time, but in a new development they are now searching for the most competitive bid to support old, disabled, ill or dying people on a case-by-case basis.

Joan Bakewell, champion of the rights old old men and women in Britain has said :
"The company that puts in the lowest tender to the council usually – not always – gets the contract. What's new is if it's being applied to individual care packages. The councils are strapped for cash by the Government and the companies see the chance for profit. The old are squeezed between. A scandal all round,"
Matrix SCM, a Milton Keynes-based company, has devised a software system called 'SProc.Net', which allows councils to circulate a care package they require for an individual to a large number of suppliers who then bid in an online auction for the contract.

Here is hypothetical 'Jim', seventy five years old, in need of a 'care package' to be provided by Birmingham City Council which is using SProc.Net and is well pleased by this since it has reduced its spending on care for old men like Jim by almost a fifth since using this system. So Jim's care is put out to auction. Sometimes the bidding is time-limited to a few hours. In Jim's case  it lasts for two days. Providers put in their bids and the software produced a shortlist of the most 'favourable'.
The shortlisted bidders were then told where they are ranked in the process and the one in second place, adjusted their bid, by lowering their price for Jim and so moved up to first place and bought the right to provide his 'care'.

Birmingham and Southend Councils have adopted the system and a handful of other councils are due to start using it soon. Adrian Baldwin, Matrix SCM's Marketing Manager, said the company was in talks with 30 other councils about the system.

If Jim had known about the fact that he was put up for auction he need not have feared because Adrian has said that the  bidding process was not just about finding the cheapest way to provide care but also about ensuring the right quality. He said that while the market would determine the price, councils could stipulate the kind of quality they required and :
"Councils specify their requirements and then broadcast them to market. At the end of the process they can get post-transactional feedback. It's a bit like the eBay community."

However, when Adrian was asked 'whether the system amounted to an '' situation' ?' he laughed and said the process was actually a kind of reverse auction that was about driving prices down rather than up :

"Providing care is so emotional and people get nervous about it costing less. Changing that behaviour requires a different mindset. We are taking that logic to a market that has perhaps been too soft, too fluffy and not challenged. Economic austerity and legislation have driven the need to think differently."

In addition, although a spokesman from Birmingham Council said the system had led to savings of 18% and has a projection to save £3.2m in care costs this financial year, he stressed that cost was not the only consideration and that the council had rejected some bids on the basis that it was not possible to deliver a safe service for the very low price some providers offered : "The system is designed on the basis of a scoring matrix which ranks quality at 60% and pricing at 40%." Having said that, surprise, surprise, 92.23% of bids under the auction system were awarded to the supplier offering the cheapest price.

Les Latchman, Chair of the Birmingham Care Consortium, said:
"I believe this system increases the risk to people who are being looked after. They are treated like cattle. Care is bought in the same way that people buy toilet paper. The system works well when it comes to saving money but fails miserably when it comes to providing quality and safe services."

John Lister, of the campaign group Health Emergency, condemned the system :
 "Local authority care budgets have already been slashed to the bone, there's nothing left to cut. This system is, it's a race to the bottom."

Old men and women all over England and Wales in need of council provided care by a local council outside Southend of Birmingham and in one of the thirty, 'in talks' with Matrix SCM take note. You too could soon be up for auction and beyond that all old men seeking care should take note, that Francis Maude, Government Cabinet Office Minister, visited Matrix' SCM's premises this year and in a video on the Company's website he said : "This is of serious interest."

A post last year :

Monday, 26 August 2013

Britain is no country for old men in 'care homes' which provide neither 'home' nor 'care'

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to an old St Ives artist called Victor Bramley

Victor, self-taught and the longest serving member of the St Ives Society of Artists, has died at the age of 80.

What you possibly didn't know about Victor, that he :

* was born in Sheffield in 1934, five years before the outbreak of the Second World War, into a family of butchers which he later said : "held the proud boast of helping feed the steelworkers of Sheffield throughout the War."

* recalled the occasion, when he was seven in 1941 and his class at Junior School, were told by their teacher, to put their gas masks on and draw a tree and he received acclaim from the teacher with words to the effect that "this laddie can draw better with his gas mask on than the rest of you can with them off " and later said : "I glowed inside my gas mask. It was my first contact with art criticism and I've never forgotten it."
* passed the 11+ exam in 1945 and attended Firth Park Grammar School for Boys, Sheffield and remembered the look of despondency on the Headteacher's face when he told him on leaving school at 16, that he "wanted to be an artist" and later admitted : "A metallurgist would have been more fitting and my father would have settled for a meat inspector. However, I still finished up in the steelworks, working my way from office boy to a progress clerk."

* found that, by the time he was twenty, "after four years, the poisonous atmosphere was killing me, but I managed to escape and found a job with the Forestry Commission "at Wharnecliffe Side on the outskirts of Sheffield and later said : "This, together with my frequent walking, caving, climbing and cycling expeditions, to Derbyshire, Wales and the Lake District and so on, helped me to grow stronger physically and spiritually and gave me some insight into myself and the surrounding landscape."

* during the 1950's his "artistic endeavours were relegated to a small shed at the bottom of the garden", but having heard about the art colony in St Ives, at the age of 25, "plucked up enough courage" to find out if he could make a future with his art and left Sheffield and headed for the South West :

* soon after his arrival in St Ives in 1959, after the train journey from St Erth left him “wide-eyed and open-mouthed”, found work washing dishes at Curnow’s Hotel in the centre town where he met and was smitten by fellow artist Jacque Moran, “a young woman of extraordinary beauty” who he married the following year and embarked on their 20 year marriage.

* later recalled that "when Barbara Hepworth was in St Ives, as were Bernard Leach, Pete Lanyon and Bryan Wynter, among others, and I soon became familiar with seeing the famous and not so famous artists walking the streets of what was then still an exceedingly charming village. Even though I was up to my eyes in dish washing I was liberated!" and started work in his first studio, a condemned cottage.

 * began to exhibit his work with the Penwith Society of Arts at its Fore Street Gallery and at the age of 28 in Spring 1962 was elected to the St Ives Society of Artists, and had his first exhibition with ‘Marigold and Weeds’, ‘September Teasel’ and ‘Chrysanthemums’ and proceeded to work in studios in the town, including the Sail Loft and once said, "St Ives, for me, is always associated with happy times."

 * saw himself as an artist and magician and said : “By magic I don’t mean wizards and dragons but something more available and shared by us all. The important thing in art is that magic should happen. I’m wrapped up in the same pursuits as the prehistoric cave man, the Tibetan monk, the perpetrator of the crop circles, be he human or alien, and the manipulator of the computer-generated magic eye design. I find them all fascinating. They’re all pursuing a similar goal, the explanation of how we see, what we think, feel and believe, and who we are. I don’t have a cave wall or a corn field handy and I don’t own a computer, but I do have some paper, a burnt stick, a brush and some pigments, and I’m trying to make some magic.”

* moved to rural 'Nancledra', where he rented what had been the village mill as a studio, which allowed him "to capitalize on the understanding I had gained working with trees and seeking adventure in the wilder parts of Derbyshire and Yorkshire" and as well as 'making magic', had a highly successful exhibition of his mandalas at the Orion Gallery in Penzance in 1974, taught art in St Ives and Zennor and in the 1970s became the first yoga instructor in Penwith.

* said that he had "great affection for Wales and the English Lake District" because "mountain areas have always attracted me and I have spent many days walking and climbing in the hills. Having said that, I am still quite happy to explore the-relationship between a few simple objects on a table and still Iife has always been one of the cornerstones of my work .Art changes, not always for the better, but I think that an artist should perhaps be looking to reflect the constant truths in our lives and not merely to become a follower of the latest fashionable way to paint." 
 * in addition to exhibiting regularly with the St Ives Society of Artists and the breakaway Penwith Society of Arts, being one of the few to bridge the gap between the two societies,.exhibited in and sold in Britain and abroad, but kept his Yorkshire feet on the ground  and said : "Success in art is often measured in money these days, and heaven knows I've sold many paintings, but if this becomes the criterion then the artist's vision, if he or she has any, is certainly in peril and I do see this happening all around me. Surely, we should be talking more about artistic integrity than money?"

* in 2013, at the age of 79, visited the Crypt Gallery, St Ives to view his 'Perseus and the Ice Cream Eaters' with his second wife, Bernadette and pleased with the lighting and position said : "Well they’ve done me proud here John. What a great position" and to Bernadette : "I never do you justice you know" and continued : "There’s me surgeon, my hero, he is. Lovely man."

Despite his success as an artist, he never lost sight of who he was and where he came from. He was, as he would have said, "a proper man."