Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Bowler Hats and Pinstripe Suits

This is my latest painting.

My big brother Victor who I hadn’t seen for years turned up suddenly at my foster home. He and his friend had a bookshop and a newspaper stand near the Admiralty in London. During the school holidays Vic gave me a job there selling papers. I had to shout out, “NEWS AND STANDARD”. I was a bit shy about shouting out at first but soon got used to it. I loved that job and I was very happy to be with Vic.
Most of the customers came from the Admiralty. They spoke really posh and wore bowler hats and pinstripe suits. Lots of them gave me a tanner for the newspaper and told me to keep the change.
One day one of the posh blokes who had a big handlebar moustache found a ten-bob note on the ground and he looked at me and said, “I say young fellow I think you should have this,” and he gave it to me.
Ten bob? Cor blimey! That was a good day.
Some days Her Majesty the Queen went past in her golden carriage. She always gave me a friendly wave but usually I was too busy to wave back.
The bag for the money used to get really heavy. I think Vic and his friend made a lot of money from selling newspapers. They also had the concession to sell newspapers and sweets off a trolley to the patients in Charing Cross Hospital just down the road. I liked going around the wards with the trolley. I don’t think that would be allowed these days.
The business came to an end when Vic’s friend disappeared with all the money they had saved up. I won’t tell you what Vic said about that!
That what I said earlier about the Queen. I made it up, sorry. But I am pretty sure if she had seen me, she would have waved. She seems like a nice lady.

Bowler hats and Pinstripe Suits.
Oil on canvas board
20in x 16in.


  1. Is the little boy you? He's so little. I like the brighter colors.

  2. You should have a book full of your drawings and paintings, John. I would definitely buy one.