Thursday 1 March 2012

Les Lilley and Frank Bellamy

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph 17th July 1990

Richard Sheaf has once again alerted me to a tiny corner of 'Bellamyland'!

He was reading a copy of Les Lilley's book "It's all there in black and white", Lilley's account of the creation and history of the Cartoonist's Club and noticed that a piece by Bellamy will have been exhibited alongside some of Prince Philip's personal collection of cartoons.

The British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent has an archive of the cartoonist's 'Giles' papers in which mention is indeed made of Prince Philip's loan of materials for the exhibition which took place on 2 August 1977 on board the "Tattershall Castle" - read on to find out more, in Lilley's account. UPDATE: The floating gallery had other exhibitions and the Ally Sloper launch took place on 1 September1976  - see Ally Sloper #2 for details

I have discovered that this book is online

The Cartoonist's Club says:

The Cartoonists' Club is the UK's oldest and largest organisation for cartoonists. Established in 1960, [...] celebrating [their] 50th anniversary in April 2010 and plans are in progress to continue and expand our primary role which is to promote friendship and interaction between cartoonists via the medium of events, meetings and social gatherings both in our original home, London, and throughout the United Kingdom. Visit our website and say hello.
They have kindly shared -in full -  this witty account online and you can read about the exhibition on pages 55 onwards in Chapter 10:

Click on image to see publication

Lilley, of course, was a popular writer of cartoon gags as well as comic strips in national newspapers. His list is too big to do justice here but amongst others, "Tiffany Jones" for the Daily Mail, and the sexy science fiction strip "Scarth" for The Sun, "The Seekers" drawn by John M. Burns in the defunct 'Daily Sketch' and Les Lilley also wrote "The Sun's Whodunnit Strip" in the 1980s with Pat Williams illustrating. The Vision On site (by Ralph Morris) has an interesting perspective on Lilley for those old enough to remember the Tony Hart programme. His obituary in the Independent is still available online.

Now, if you're thinking this is a tenuous link, read the obituary which mentions,

Later he was instrumental in the creation of the Society for Strip Illustration, formed by a small group of professional strip cartoonists including the brilliant "Garth" artist Frank Bellamy, who died before he could take the post of chairman.
Do we have any clues what the piece by Bellamy that was exhibited?  No, I'm afraid not. If anyone can help, please get in contact. The header piece above is to show that Bellamy started his first continuing public work career in cartooning!


Anonymous said...

Your illustration comes from The Pink Un sports paper published every Saturday by the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph. It originally appeared in the 1940s and was used to illustrate one of my many articles on Frsnk snd his work.

Tony Smith

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks for this Tony. I should have said that it was orignally from the Pink 'Un section of NORTHAMPTONSHIRE EVENING TELEGRAPH (Sat 18 Oct 1947)