If you happen to be in Manchester anytime after the 24th, then feel free to take a trip to the Benzie Building at Manchester School of Art, where I and a bunch of fellow graduates from 1969 are exhibiting to celebrate our 50 years in the business, and since our graduation. All the details you need to know are on the poster right here. Don’t forget it’s weekdays only, but then if you are in Manchester on a weekend you do need to look at your life in detail.
I’m off there for the opening and looking forward to seeing my old friends. My own graduation and final show was in retrospect not my shining hour, so I’m hoping that this makes up for it a little. I passed, but perhaps only just. My priorities at the time were football, music, beer and female company if I could find it. So the work took a rather sorry 5th place. I was far too young to go to college and although I worked hard in my foundation year ( I had to to get into the degree course ) I have to confess that I was extremely relaxed in the degree course.
The incentive of surviving after I left made me a little less relaxed about what I should do next and after a period driving a lorry delivering cakes to all points North I saved enough to go and find my fortune in the London. My mother bought me a suit so that I could go to the interviews at the various advertising agencies that I had lined up to take advantage of my minute talents. I’m not sure if she thought that the interviews were in the Orkneys or somewhere similarly cold and wet, but the suit was built for Manchester and not the sunny south east. I must have looked like a pink piggy at the interviews, I certainly sweated like one. Wether it was nervous energy but that and the bulky suit challenged my supply of right guard to the limit. Not many people seemed to be wearing the waistcoat where I was going, or if they were it was without a jacket and they looked like they’d bought them from an old army surplus store. Whereas my bespoke special had only been made after I’d been asked which side I dressed. “Nearest the window” was my puzzled reply.
Come along and see some great work, not from me, but from the talented friends I made all those years ago, and who went on to become big in the business. I found myself in the end and more than eeked out a living. What a lucky chap I was to have such talented friends who had a huge influence on me, and unlike me at the time, knew the meaning of hard work, enthusiasm and raw creative talent.
I can’t wait to see them again, see if I can borrow a tenner off them.
This is the full poster and the drawing was done by a chap called Anthony Woolaston, who sadly we have been unable to trace. He obviously had a lot of talent as he managed to capture the essence of all of us. That’s me on the front row, fifth from the left, wearing my old school scarf, what was I thinking? Anthony, or ‘Doove’ as he called himself at the time, put himself in the picture and he is 8th from the left with the flowery tie.
If you happen to know of his whereabouts let me know, be good to get him along, and at least thank him for the use of the drawing.