Today’s Guardian supplement has an article by Denis Healey’s son about his father’s drawings and paintings. Some are reproduced and they’re good.
Healey, who was a pupil at Bradford Grammar School, pays tribute to the art teaching he had from Mr Reginald Maddox, particularly in watercolour. This suggests that my contemporaries and I underestimated the man -- and indeed his woodcuts, or was it scraper boards, in the school magazine and the Christmas cards he designed were truly dreadful, as my dad, who my knew a bit about this stuff, invariably pointed out. We never saw his watercolours.
But -- something kids don’t sufficiently acknowledge -- he was a nice man and I liked going and working in his art room after school for my O level art -- not on my official curriculum -- a venture in which he encouraged me.
It helped that the art room was such a lovely room with a fine view across the valley to Bolton Woods (an industrial village with quarries). Indeed, the school had a lovely new building, completed just before the war when Bradford had money and was then occupied and, it was said, partly wrecked, by the army. It was a bit tackily Tudor with its mullioned windows but floors were parquet and the classrooms spacious and light. It has a handsome, well-designed music room that I was sorry to see on a recent revisit had been turned into a computer suite.