DEREK BIRCH Derek, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1954-57, passed away on the 26th. May 2011, one month before his 70th. birthday.
He was a Designer-Craftsman whose skills were realised not only in precious metals, but in the house that he built for himself and his wife, as well as the dangerously fast Cobra sports car he engineered and constructed.
Derek was born in Birmingham on the 23rd. June 1941, and attended the Moseley School of Art at the age of 13years, followed by attendance at the Birmingham School of Jewellery. Success with 'A' Levels enabled him to progress to the Royal College of Art, where he was introduced to the flowing lines and organic forms of Scandinavian silver design. After graduation, he worked for a year in Germany gaining valuable experience in quantity machine production in stainless steel.
On his return to the UK, Derek was awarded a Fellowship with the (then) Lincolnshire Association which began his long link with the City of Lincoln. In settling and establishing his practice there, he benefitted from several important civic commissions, many of which are displayed in the Guildhall Treasury. Significant commissions not represented there are the chalice, table lamp and replica of the King Richard II State Sword, all made for and presented to Her Majesty the Queen, together with a silver triptych which was presented to the late HRH Princess Diana. He also designed the Freedom of the City Caskets which were presented to Sir Charles Tennyson and the Right Hon. Dennis Howell, and made ceremonial maces for a number of institutions including Hong Kong University, Bournemouth University and the University of Central Lancashire.
Derek returned to the Birmingham School of Jewellery in the late 1960's, teaching until his retirement in 2006. During this time, he was able to share his skills and enthusiasm with so many others. Les Curtis, a student from 1969 says "Derek was an insipiration to everyone who met him. He could do anything, and to such a phenomenal standard that was impossible to match - but in the trying we all raised our standards". Another former student, Theresa Nguyen, says "Derek was an inspiring teacher and mentor, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise in silversmithing with all of his students. His passion was infectious and really inspired all of the students to believe in themselves and encourage their potential, not only as silversmiths, but as people. He has left a lasting legacy of craft skills which can be seen in the works of many silversmiths and jewellers around the country today. I am eternally grateful to derek for the massive contribution he has made to my development and career". Gerald Whiles, a colleague of Derek's for the majority of his teaching career believes that, though being outstandingly generous in sharing his knowledge and skills, most significant was the encouragement given to students in achieving the resolution of their original and, often, very complex ideas: 'all, or , at any rate, most things can be made - and, in the case of a disaster, Derek could be relied on to rescue it' ".
For many years, Derek was an examiner for City & Guilds, setting and marking theory papers and practical pieces for the Silversmithing subject area. He was acknowledged to be kind, generous and thoughtful - a true gentleman with a wicked sense of humour (reflected by his flambuoyant bow ties) - but never afraid to laugh at himself. He was very modest: Not many people were aware that he received an award from the Royal Humane Society for rescuing a drowning man.
Derek was elected a Member of the Society of Industrial Artists, and granted Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and Freedom of the City of London.
HARRY SALE It is with sadness that we announce the death of Harry Sale on the 26th. November 2010. Harry attended the Moseley School of Art between 1941-44 and was a keen and committed member of the Association from the time of its inception, and attended every one of our meetings. He will be sadly missed. Further details will be provided shortly.
VERONICA TORKINGTON (SIMMONDS) We are sad to announce that Veronica, who attended our school between 1939-42 passed away on the 13th. May 2009. We have been informed by Veronica's husband of more than 60 years that Veronica suffered badly from Alzheimer's for the last 10 years of her life.
DENNIS KING We are sad to inform members that Dennis, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1947-50, died on the 27th. February 2011 following a long illness. The funeral service was held at 12.30pm on Thursday 10th. March at Coleshill Crematorium, and was followed by a reception at Coleshill Social Club.
Dennis attended our AGM and Reunion in May 2010, bringing along some pieces of his recent work for display, and had been really looking forward to attending the 2011 reunion.
His older brother GEORGE KING also attended the Moseley School of Art between 1945-48, and died suddenly several years ago at the age of only 54.
Dennis loved Art throughout his life, and remained creatively active right up until late summer of 2010. He pursued a short career in Art and Design for Dunlop Flooring and other posts before his brother introduced him to the far more lucrative track work at Daimler. Dennis's career progressed to sales and running his own business (mainly office equipment) outside the Motor Industry.
Dennis's children (Stephen, Robert and Susan) inherited their father's love of Art. Robert attended Bourneville College of Art, eventually gaining an MA. He will always be grateful for the support and motivation he received from his father toward his career in Art and Design, and was delighted when Dennis's interest in his son's studies led him to renew his own efforts in painting.
A “Renaissance Man”, Dennis left everything in the 1990's and moved to Spain for about 6 years. He painted and joined Art Groups and was quite productive. On his return to England, he continued to paint; watercolours being his preferred medium.
PETER NASH We have been informed by his son, Peter, that his father, Peter Nash, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1950-53 passed away on the 29th. March 2010 at St. Maty's Hospice, Selly Oak, Birmingham following a long battle against lung cancer.
DAVID BAKER After a long battle with cancer David passed away at home surrounded by his family on 26 December 2009, aged 80. David was born in Handsworth and was an only child, attending Moseley School of Art between 1942 - 45, and was evacuated with the school to Dursley in Gloucestershire during that time. David did his National Service in the RAF at Cosford. His career engaged his artistic flair and included teaching Art at Wolverhampton College. In 1952 David married Joyce and they celebrated 57 years of marriage in 2009. They had two daughters, Helen and Sarah. David worked for various advertising agencies before setting up his own business, Whitecroft Designs Limited, specializing in artwork and exhibition stands, with studios in Birmingham and London. Through concern and dedication David ensured that the business thrived and prospered through some nationally difficult and austere years. Joyce was always a great support to him and to his success. He secured some fine contracts with well-known businesses due to the good service that he gave them. His interests included jazz, taking opportunities to hear and where possible see people, such as Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Oscar Peterson and Nellie Lutcher.
ROY HARTLEY It is with sadness that we announce the death of Roy Hartley, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1953-56. Roy passed away at Worthing Hospital on the 25th. August 2009 with his wife and two sons at his side following a short and unexpected battle with cancer. His widow Jean has said that Roy was very proud to have been a student at our school and often reflected on happy memories of his time there.
ARTHUR WORKMAN We are sad to announce the passing of Arthur, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1939-43. Arthur died at Selly Oak Hospital on the 16th. November 2009 following a short illeness. We are informed by his eldest son that Arthur was immensely proud of his time at our school, and often regaled his sons with fond memories of those times. Our condolences go to Arthur's widow, Joy and sons following their unexpected loss.
CAROL ANNAN It is with sadness that we have to announce the passing of Carol Annan, who was a pupil of the Moseley School of Art between 1953-56. Carol's funeral will take place at 2.30pm on Friday, 16th. April 2010 at the Robin Hood Cemetary, Hall Green, Birmingham. The family have requested donations to the Myton Hospice, where Carol was cared for during the latter part of her life, instead of flowers. Further information from the family will be posted when received.
JOYCE BIRCH (COOPER) The funeral of Joyce Birch (Cooper)('46) took place on Tuesday, 9th. February 2010 at Lodge Hill Crematorium, Birmingham. The service was well attended by members of her family and friends, and the President and Wendy Collins attended to represent the Moseley School of Art Association, leaving a floral tribute on behalf of our members. Joyce, who died following a long battle with cancer, attended the Moseley School of Art between 1943-6 and her infectious enthusiasm will be missed by all who met her at our reunions.
JOHN THOMPSON We are sad to inform members that John Thompson, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1958-61 died in 2004. We are awaiting further details from John's daughter, Nicola, which will be reported here when received.
HARRY FREEMAN We are sad to inform members that Harry Freeman, who also attended the Moseley School of Art between 1958-61 died some years ago. Further details are not yet known but will be posted here when received.
MELVIN FREEAR It is with sadness that we have to announce the passing of Melvin Freear, a student at the Moseley School of Art from 1954-57. Melvin's widow has informed us that he had suffered an aggressive form of cancer and passed away peacefully in Bronglais hospital, Aberyswyth with all of his family around him on Friday 30th October 2009. He was interred on Monday, 9th. November at Darowen, Powys, Wales.
DAVID TAMPLIN We have been informed by Davids widow that David, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1949-52, passed away on the 22nd. November 2008 having suffered from Parkinsons Disease for many years. David spent his working life at Rudds & Co. Ltd. as a printer. His widow would be very grateful to hear from any former friends who may have a photograph of him taken during his time at the school.
SUSAN JONES (PIMM) It is with great sadness that we have to inform our members that Susan died on the 21st. December 2008 following a long illness. The news that Susan had died was passed to the Association by Paul Sankey on the day of the 2009 Reunion. A pupil at the school between 1960-63, Susan had been a personal friend of the President, Graeme Collins.
ERNIE PRICE We are extremely sad to announce that Ernie, who taught at the school over two periods to a total of 16 years, has passed away. Ernie was a staunch supporter of the Association, and attended every meeting. We understand that his funeral took place during the last week in April, 2009.
MARGARET HICKINBOTHAM (EYLES) We have received a message from Mrs. Claire Bullock informing us that her mother, MARGARET HICKINBOTHAM (EYLES) who attended our shool between 1935-38 has passed away. It is hoped that we will receive further details in due course.
PETER ROBINS We have been informed by Peter's son, Tim, that Peter, who attended the school between 1948-51, passed away on the 19th. November 2007. Further details will be posted shortly.
TREVOR CHARLTON We have been informed by Carl Downe ('49) that Trevor, who attended MSA between 1945-48, passed away in February 2009, aged 77 years. Further detail will be posted shortly.
MARGARET DAVIS We are sad to announce that Maggi, who attended the school between 1961 and 1965, has died following a long illness. Her funeral took place at 12.30pm at Haycombe Crematorium near Bath on Wednesday, 20th. August 2008. A full obituary will appear here when details are received.
PAUL NICHOLAS It is with sadness that we announce the death of Paul, who left the Moseley School of Art in 1971. After leaving the Moseley School of Art, Paul had a variety of jobs in Birmingham before joining the DHSS at Ladywood (now the Department of Work and Pensions) in 1975, remaining there until his death. Following his marriage to Jane, his first wife, in 1977 he moved to Bristol. He had two sons Mark and Michael, now aged 21 and 23. Paul and Jane parted in 1987, following which he married Pat, acquiring a stepdaughter Clare, now aged 30 and two grandsons, Ryan aged 9 and Kian aged 4, who were the apple of his eye. Paul enjoyed a successful career with the DWP, receiving several promotions and being recognised as being an inspiring leader. He was working at a large Benefit Processing Centre in Bristol when he died and his staff were devastated at his death. Paul is described as an extremely generous family-orientated man with a great sense of humour, who was the rock of his family. He was happiest when with his wife, with whom he enjoyed a strong and loving marriage, and their family. Paul died suddenly and unexpectedly as a result of a massive heart attack on the 1st April despite enjoying apparent good health, at the age of 53 years. His funeral was attended by 400 people. He is survived by his wife, Pat, who is naturally devastated by her loss, but who would welcome contact from any of Paul's old friends from the Moseley School of Art. Contact details are available from the email address at the foot of this webpage.
VALERIE BURTON The news that Valerie, a staunch supporter of the Association and Year Representative for the leavers of 1952 had died earlier in the year was passed to the Association on the day of the 2008 Reunion. Valerie attended the Moseley School of Art between 1949 and 1952, when she left to continue her studies in Art. After gaining a DipAD, she obtained a Certificate in Education and became a teacher. She later resumed her studies and acquired a Master of Arts degree, becoming head of Art Studies at Alderbrook School, Solihull. Valerie never married, but loved travelling, especially to foreign countries, and leaves records of her 49 different trips to skiing locations, including the Rocky Mountains, USA. Valerie, a lovely lady, passed away on the 10th. January 2008 following a ten year battle against cancer. She leaves a brother, Ken, and two nephews.
DENNIS EVANS We are sad to announce the death of Dennis, who was a student at our school between 1948-51 and a keen and enthusiastic supporter of the Association and our reunions. Dennis passed away unexpectedly on the 30th. November 2007 following a long illness. He left MSA to become an apprentice printer, and was later introduced to the firm's art department. He eventually became an Advertising Manager and later decided on a change of direction in his career. He studied for and attained a degree in Art / Education at St. Peter's College, Saltley and became an art teacher. He was a long-time personal friend and work colleague of former MSA student John Pittaway, who also died recently. His interests included acting as a barn dance and line dance caller. Dennis was a highly regarded person, and his epitaph includes the simple yet profound inscription "A Family Man". Dennis is survived by his widow Maureen, a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.
VINCENT McCANN It is with sadness that we have to announce that Vincent passed away following a very long illness on the 20th. April 2007. His attendance at MSA was interrupted by the war, and, in common with many other students, he was evacuated to Dursley, Gloucestershire, and to Tewkesbury for a period of about two years, and later attended the School of of Industrial Design at Margaret Street. He then spent two years National Service, following which he worked as a shopfitting designer from 1950-53, when he became a partner in the family sewing machine business until 1985. He then moved to Paignton, Devon, in 1988 where he became involved in local government, becoming Mayor of Torbay in 1998-9. An extremely popular and respected man, he was afforded a funeral with full civil honours by the townspeople. Following his funeral and cremation service, Vincent's ashes were interred next to those of his parents at New Oscott, Birmingham. Vincent is remembered with great affection and respect by lifelong friend Tony Satchwell.
ROBERT 'BOB' BALL It is with great sorrow that we have to announce that Bob Ball, our second oldest member, passed away after a brief illness on the 21st. February 2008. His funeral was held at the Slad Church, Nr. Stroud, Gloucestershire on Thursday, 6th. March 2008, and a reception was held afterward at the Falcon Hotel, Painswick. Bob was a very committed man in every way, and the President was always grateful for the contribution he made in the form of moral support and encouragement.
Robert (Bob) Ball was born during an air-raid in Birmingham on July 11th 1918, the son of a silversmith. From his father he gained a wide horticultural knowledge, a life-long love of gardening and most importantly his ability to turn his hand to absolutely anything of a practical nature.
He was still at elementary school when it was first noticed that he possessed skills in art & craft, especially drawing, far beyond his years. His school report described him as “a nice boy” and “extremely reliable”.
Although he passed to the Grammar School, his extraordinary drawing ability meant that he was sent to Moseley School of Art along with his little sister, Dorothea. Whilst there, he won countless awards, prizes and scholarships including one for a plant study from the Royal Horticultural Society for his remarkably precise depiction in pencil and watercolour of a “Marrow Showing General Growth”. (ref: JB Priestly in his book English Journey)
His future wife, Barbara Minchin, was a fellow pupil at the school.
In 1933, when he was still only 15 years old, he gained a scholarship to the Birmingham College of Arts & Crafts. For the first time in his life, he travelled alone to London bearing a print destined for the Print Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He had never been on an underground train before. From the noise and swerving he felt as if he were going down a giant worm hole into the centre of the earth. This experience later inspired his major work entitled “Ambiguity” in which he explored ideas of life after death, the traditional and pearly-gates view of Heaven and man’s increasing use of technology.
At 19 years of age he won the prestigious British Institution Scholarship (worth £150) for engraving and this self portrait was then exhibited in numerous galleries including the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
(“Self Portrait”- cover of order of service).
He had a number of interesting part time jobs: teaching cake design at the Birmingham Bakery School, occasional art supply teacher, working as an illustrator and writing reviews of historical monuments for the Birmingham Mail and The Gazette. By 1937 he was employed as an art teacher at Moseley School of Art and also branched out into the commercial world. He enjoyed being involved in war work at Charlesworth’s where he was employed as a draughtsman. He volunteered for the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war but was deferred for medical reasons.
In 1941 he won a full 2½ year scholarship to study engraving at the Royal College of Art which had evacuated to Ambleside in Westmorland. He loved the Lake District and passed his love of mountains and walking on to his children and grandchildren. He climbed The Old Man of Coniston and Scafell Pike with his grandchildren, Claire, Ben & Sophie when he was in his 70’s (1991). It was during his time in Ambleside that he became engaged to Barbara. In 1943 he was elected to be an Associate Member of the Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers and from then on he was elected to many more royal societies. He married in 1944 at St Peter’s Parish Church in Harborne, Birmingham and spent his honeymoon at Bull’s Cross in Gloucestershire. They immediately fell in love with the area of Slad and Painswick. However, they returned to Harborne and lived there for another 7 years. During this time, whilst teaching etching, drawing and painting, he was a prolific worker, producing many works of national acclaim. His glimpses of inner city scenes are now of great historical value.
In 1951 he moved to Gloucestershire with Barbara and their children David and Rosalind on his appointment as Principal of the Stroud School of Art. During this time he lived at Slad, Caroline was born and he became friends with Laurie Lee and Frank Mansell. He was extremely hard working and was blessed with a good measure of foresight and judgement. He gave up vacations and weekends to build up the small, run-down school of art. He trebled student numbers and expanded options and courses. Three classrooms became nine well equipped rooms. He was popular with both students and staff. The Chief Education Officer noted that “He had the rare gift of instilling enthusiasm into young students”. His unique teaching style is fondly remembered by his ex-students. One recently wrote “He was the best of all teachers. He always explained how to do things where others could not”. Others recall anatomy classes where he penned the muscles and bones onto his own arm to emphasize his point! He finally resigned the headship in 1959 because he saw it would be beneficial for Stroud to amalgamate with Cheltenham College in order to jointly gain the right to be awarded the rare, but prestigious new Diploma Course.
They became The Gloucestershire College of Art, based in Cheltenham and Stroud. This gave Robert a little more time for his own work and when, in 1974, Frank Mansell invited him to illustrate his book of “Cotswold Ballads” he accepted the challenge. Robert devoted many months to producing a collection of the most wonderful wood engravings. Before he retired he was Senior Lecturer in painting and drawing in the Fine Art Department. He finally retired from teaching in 1981 but meanwhile he had turned his hand to construction work. He built his own studio and after completing “Ambiguity” he began to concentrate full time on print making, watercolours and ambitious canvases including portraits and landscapes in oil. Locally, two of those portraits are hanging in Marling School Hall.
Further examples of Robert’s work are displayed or held in collections all over the world; galleries at home include The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Ashmolean, Birmingham Art Gallery, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Hereford Art Galleries. Over the years he had a number of works exhibited at The Royal Academy, The Royal West of England Academy, The Mall Galleries and The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. He regularly held his own exhibitions in Painswick, Stroud & Cheltenham - his last was a joint exhibition, in the summer of 2006, with Martin Aicheson in Painswick Town Hall. His exhibitions have included etchings, line engraving, aquatints, intaglio, mezzotints, lithographs, wood engravings, water colours, oil paintings, substantial landscapes and portraits. One of his finest works was “The Mask” produced in 1941. The most stunning aspect of this work was the luminous quality he achieved. By placing the mask against a flat, black background he achieved the most beautiful but haunting quality. The mask was an image of his own face.
Bob & Barbara moved to Painswick in 1984 where he designed a second, larger studio. He continued his work and was able to devote more time to his family and travelling abroad.
Throughout his life he did up old houses, old cars and neglected gardens. He often took on projects of monumental proportions. He used to declare “Never say ‘I can’t”. When he was in his 80’s he undertook the construction of an impressive flight of 24 ornamental steps in his daughter’s garden. At the same time he instigated the successful campaign to save the Stroud School of Art.
When his children were young he acquired an old, bright-green, de-commissioned ambulance and drove them round the entire coast-road of Britain. The family lived and slept, rather uncomfortably, in the back of the van. Later, in rather more comfort, he drove them all over Europe. As he grew older and a little better off he went on organized holidays and travelled as far as the Holy Land. In 2007 he travelled to The Alsace. In his later years he enjoyed regular large family gatherings at Porthscatho on the Roseland Peninsula. He loved the sea and a lifetime’s ambition was realized in March 1999 when, although now registered blind, he joined the crew of an old sailing ship, the “Eye of the Wind” and sailed round the coast of Britain.
Robert was a perfectionist in all things; he deplored shoddiness of execution in anything. He was saddened to witness the declining standards in the level of teaching in art colleges and, as older teachers retired, the gradual loss of knowledge that the traditional art school training had provided. He was dismayed that modern art students now lacked so much knowledge in vital disciplines; form, texture, perspective, light & shade. He himself possessed the most remarkable knowledge of anatomy and he considered this a necessary requisite of any serious student of life drawing. His knowledge of history of art was like a huge database – you needed no other.
Amongst his other passions were bee-keeping and cats. He had 7 cats during his years at Stroud and 5 of them were strays who sought him out as if by magnetic attraction. His latest cat was “Timmy” (Septimus) whom he adored and Timmy was devoted to him in return.
He always loved parties and social occasions and had been looking forward to his 90th birthday party. He never missed an opportunity to have a chin-wag and consequently had a wide circle of friends. Bob & Barbara were married for 64 years. They have 3 children, 5 grandchildren & 3 great-grandchildren. He had a full and happy life. He was blessed with a long and successful career and a loving close-knit family. His work will be a lasting monument to this great man, only his knowledge has died.
Bob is survived by his loving family including his widow, Barbara (Minchin) and sister Dorothea, both of whom were also students at the Moseley School of Art.
MICHAEL BROUGHTON It is with sadness that we have to announce the passing of Michael, who was a pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1950 and 1953. We have been informed by Michael's brother Derek, who also attended MSA between 1951 and 1954, that he died on Monday, 7th. January 2008 having suffered with chronic lymphoedema for a considerable time. Michael, who worked at Land Rover for more than 30 years, was a passionate photographer and traveller, visiting many foreign countries a number of times. His other interests included the Youth Hostel Association, cycling and table tennis, having acted as a coach for many years. Michael's funeral was held at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium on the 18th. January.
TONY WITHERS A pupil at Moseley School of Art between 1957 and 1960, Tony passed away on Monday, 30th. July 2007, following a long fight against cancer. Tony’s funeral took place at the Robin Hood Crematorium on 8th August 2007, and was attended by a number of former friends from our school. David Martin, a close friend since their schooldays, has provided the following information about Tony's life. Tony’s passion with “art” was in music and with the guitar, starting at MSA with Tony, Graham Lane and David forming a group called the "Hepcats", which they did for fun, trying to beat “The Rockin Berries" which started at MSA as the "Bobcats" in 1959 under the leadership of Brian “Chuck” Botfield. The Hepcats became more professional and changed their name to “The Buccaneers". Tony met and formed a group with Brian Hines, and Graham Lane and David moved on to other things. Brian changed his name to “Denny Lane”, eventually leaving to form his own group "Denny Lane and the Diplomats", and later went to the Moody Blues. Brian (sorry Denny) also did a stint with Wings with Paul McCartney.
Tony, like many hundreds of other pupils before him, was provided with successful introductions to employers at the end of his time at the school, and embarked on a career as a Commercial Artist, together with classmate Graham Lane, who now lives in Australia. David became a trainee draughtsman. Much later, Tony went into selling, as did Graham Lane and David, with Tony specialising in car sales. He became a very successful salesman and eventually became Senior Salesman at the “Cardrome” on Coventry Road, later moving to the Clock Garage which he left to form his own company. He was probably one of the first in Birmingham to start a valeting service company directors’ vehicles. Tony’s passion and skill moved into song writing and he worked with Mike Alexander who has worked with greats like Shirley Bassey. Mike, throughout his 30 years experience in the music business, has covered many facets of this entertainment sector, from 3 piece jazz combos, to Symphony orchestras. He has worked in almost every country in the World for some of the business’s top stars, culminating in the role of Musical Director for Shirley Bassey from 1980 to 1995. Tony joined with Mike and Shirley for dinner on numerous occasions. Tony’s passion with music went as far as helping Laurie Hornsby with information of past Brum Groups which helped Laurie to produce the 2003 book “Brum Rocked On”. Until his illness caught up with him, Tony was still performing around the clubs and circuit of Birmingham.
Tony was married early in life and had a son Mark and daughter Julia with his first wife Kay. Unfortunately the marriage ended and he later met and married Jean, with whom he had a daughter, Louise. Tony had a younger brother and his younger sister, Jacqueline was also a student at MSA, between 1958 and 1961. His family and friends will miss him dearly as he was always the one who brought a touch of humour with one of his innuendos or stomach holding laughter with a joke or two.
JANET PHILLIPS (TAYLOR) We are extremely sad to learn that Janet, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1958 and 1961, lost her seven-year battle against cancer in October 2006. We are informed by her daughter that Janet passed away peacefully, with the dignity and respect she had wanted, and that she very much enjoyed her attendances at our Reunions and the newsletters she received.
KEN WARMINGTON We have been informed by Ken's sons that he died on the 27th. November 2006, just days before his 84th. birthday. Ken's attendance at the Moseley School of Art was interrupted by War Service, but he returned into art education and spent the rest of his working life working as an interior designer. His son, David has written:
" I am sorry to have to inform you that my father, Ken Warmington, died on November 27th 2006. Dad left Moseley to join the army in 1941 and attended again on his return from Europe. My brother and I have been rewarded with the experience of opening Dad's artwork folios again and reviewing a unique and complete collection of artwork that dates from 1934 to 1987. There are landscapes from the ages of 14 to 84, together with life class and industrial design exercises from Moseley, and department store floor plans with accompanying airbrushed perspective renderings that cover a 40 year career. However, for me, the most cherished pieces are a few sketches made on scraps of signal paper as Dad's regiment fought across France, the Netherlands and Northern Germany in 1944/5. None of us today can fully appreciate all the experiences of that generation. We've all enjoyed re-reading Dad's memories of Moseley that appeared in his friend Ivan Haycock's slim volume commemorating the school. Dad was also remembered by Amelia Shaw-Hastings, who wrote a kind and fascinating letter to us on hearing of his death ".
GEOFFREY CLARKE We have been informed by his widow, Heather, that Geoff passed away during 2005. Latterly residing at Selsey, West Sussex and a former pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1950 and 1953, Geoff was a subscribing member of the Association. More details to follow.
GRAHAM HOWLINGS A pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1953 and 1956, Graham joined Graham Brown Studios as a commercial artist after leaving school. He later trained and qualified as a Method and Time Study Engineer and worked from 1970 for Birmingham City Council in this role, before moving to Trading Standards where he became a Senior Enforcement Officer up until his retirement in 2005. Graham became ill in mid 2006 and despite various treatments passed away on Saturday 10 March 2007. He leaves a wife, Helen, three children, three step children and three grandchildren. Missed by all, including his brother David who also attended MSA between 1954 and 1957.
JOHN PITTAWAY Died suddenly 30th. April 2005 whilst returning by air from Italy. John attended the Moseley School of Art, leaving in 1947/8, when he went on to attend the Birmingham Coillege of Art. He then spent the rest of his life as an illustrator, producing works for the Aviation and Motoring journals. John produced a great body of work during his lifetime which he was always reluctant to exhibit despite approaches by the Guild of Motoring, the Aviation Guild and others. It is hoped that it may be possible for us to show some of his works in the form of a retrospective at one of our meetings. John leaves his widow Pat and their two daughters and one son.
KATHLEEN (KAY) MITCHELL We have been informed by Ruby Colson (Summers)(1935) that the name of her friend, Kay has been included, together with those of Kay's parents and her boyfriend, on the newly-erected memorial in the Bull Ring to those who died during the Blitz on Birmingham. Kay attended the Moseley School of Art between 1932 and 1935, and was killed during a German air raid in 1940.
DAVID BURTON We have been notified that David, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1954 and 1957, passed away during September 2006 following a long period of ill health. A private person, David ran his own business, Chantry House Studios in Moseley. One of their clients was Cadbury's amongst many others.
JOHN DIGNAM We have been informed by Beryl Dignam (1945) that her brother in law and classmate, John, passed away on the 20th. September 2006 following a period of illness. John attended the Moseley School of Art between 1942 and 1945 and had previously been a director of a successful signmaking company. Hazel, John's widow writes :
" When John left MSA, he went into signwriting. After that, he worked in Coventry writing the first adverts on buses. He was then approached to make motorway road signs which he did for the rest of his working life, eventually becoming Director of Pathway Signs Ltd. He really enjoyed the Moseley School of Art Association reunions, meeting up again with old friends. John had always kept in touch with Fred Smith (please see below) and they used to attend the reunions together. Fred died just two weeks before John passed away. John and I have two married sons and John was never happier than when with our five grandchildren, either on holiday or at home. A born organiser, and a warm outgoing man, he is missed very much by the whole family ".
FREDERICK SMITH Beryl Dignam has also informed us of the passing of another of her schoolfriends. Fred, who also attended the school between 1942 and 1945, died suddenly during September 2006. Fred had worked as a commercial artist and in later years had indulged his passion for showing horses.
MARGARET DAVIES (WEBSTER) It is with sadness that we have to announce the passing of Margaret, who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1954 and 1957, on Monday, 30th. October 2006. We have been informed by Graham Williams, the Year Repesentative for the 1957 leavers that Margaret, known as "Chutty" to her friends, had suffered illness for a very long time. Her illness prevented her from attending our Reunion meetings although she had intended to make every effort to be with us for our 2007 AGM and Reunion.
DOROTHY FISHER (DOCKER) Dorothy passed away at the end of July 2006, aged 90 years. She attended the Moseley School of Art between 1928 and 1931. It was our pleasure to meet her when she visited our 2003 Spring Exhibition at the school. After WW11 Dorothy felt called to do full time work for the Church. She was commissioned by The Church Army after completing her two years training. She then spent several years working with young girls in approved schools before becoming a parish worker. She met her husband, Rev.Norman Fisher at St.Edmunds, Tyseley, Birmingham and they had 10 years together in three parishes sharing the work. After his untimely death in 1965 Dorothy came to Kings Norton and began what was to become 40 years working as a Licensed member of the Parish Team at St.Nicholas Church. She will be sadly missed by the many people whose lives she touched over those years.
DENIS CARROLL The passing of Denis has been notified to us by Tony Light, the year representative of the leavers of 1947 and a personal friend of Denis for nearly sixty years. Denis was a pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1944 and 1947 and enjoyed a long career as a graphic artist and painter, and exhibited works at our 2003 MSA Spring Exhibition. His funeral took place in Birmingham on Tuesday, 4th. July 2006.
ROGER HINES We have been asked by Janice Rowlatt (Hines), who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1953 and 1957 to make a preliminary announcement that her brother Roger, who attended between 1958 and 1961, died nearly three years ago. It is hoped that further details to follow.
JAN BERG (Harold Goldberg) A pupil between the years 1933 and 1936, Jan was one of the former pupils we didn't manage to make contact with, despite many attempts. We have been informed by his family that Jan passed away in June 2003, shortly after our first Spring Exhibition. Harold described himself as a C.O. in wartime, as well as having been a teacher of art and design, goldsmith, jeweller, interior designer, farmer and market gardener. Jan was widowed before marrying again. He leaves his widow to whom he was married for around 20 years and three children. One son owns a computer firm, another runs his own alternative medicine clinic. His daughter is a successful practitioner in Homeopathy. He also leaves four grandchildren. He had lived in a western seaside town until moving a few years ago to Ross on Wye, Herefordshire.
PETER DONNELLY We have been informed by Tony Light, Year Representative for 1947 that Peter, a successful photographer and former pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1944 and 1947 passed away on the 21st. December 2005 following a long battle against cancer. A very well attended service was held at Stourbridge Crematorium on the 4th. January 2006. Peter had a very good sense of humour and was very popular. He was a good all-round sportsman during his younger years, and among other achievements played football for the Birmingham City F.C. Under 21's c1951. Peter was married but lost his wife to ill health many years ago. He leaves a son, Paul, also a photographer.
DAVID PEARSON Died suddenly 13th. September 2005. A pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1949 and 1952, David moved to the Lake District in about 1957 following his National Service in the RAF. He married Judy, a girl from Penrith with whom he had four children, two boys and two girls. Dave worked as Northern Regional Manager for Gush & Dent Ltd., a company which made agricultural implements, penning, gates, etc. Following his divorce from Judy, David got together with Jean in 1982 and they lived in a hamlet mid way between Keswick and Penrith. He then ran his own company, Eamont Engineering, again making agricultural goods but also producing sheet metal work, some of which was exported around the world. He retired in 2004 and during his retirement became a small business mentor within Cumbria. We are informed by David's widow, Jean, that he thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the 2005 Reunion and is pleased that he was able to travel down and meet up with some of his old schoolfriends only four months before he passed away.
RALPH WESTWOOD Died at the tragically young age of 17 years. Ralph attended the Moseley School of Art between 1961 and 1965 before becoming a student at the Birmingham College of Art. (Peter Finney)
FRANK BEACHAM A former pupil who attended the Moseley School of Art between 1928 and 1931, Frank passed away following a short illness on the 30th. November 2004, having been the second oldest of our former pupils at the age of 89 years. After leaving the school he became a trainee draughtsman and remained a draughtsman in the electrical supply industry, ending his working life in charge of the Central Electricity Generating Board drawing office. Frank had always acknowledged the contribution that Moseley School of Art made to teaching him to use his imagination and in preparing him for his future career. Widowed at a relatively young age, he spent the twenty years following his retirement in 1974 indulging his love for worldwide travel. We were delighted to meet Frank at the school Spring Exhibition and Reunion in May 2003, and at the 2004 Reunion.
TREVOR ROE died August 2004 following a brave fight against a long illness. Trevor was a pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1955 and 1958 and was a subscribing member of the Association. He later attended Birmingham College of Art and became an Interior Designer. He will be sadly missed by his widow, Janet, who informed us of his passing.
MALCOLM THOMAS died 1996. Malcolm attended MSA between 1953 and 1956, then attended the Birmingham College of Art where he gained a NDD. He then spent most of his life as an interior designer working mainly in the shopfitting industry at the Birmingham firms of Edmonds, Gupwells and Plumbs.
GRACE NEWBERRY (DENNIS) died 2nd. October 2004 following a long illness. Grace, a pupil at the Moseley School of Art between 1941 and 1944, lived in Adelaide, Australia and is survived by her husband Roger and son Dennis. Grace was a photographer, and will be particularly missed by Eunice Slater (Day) who had been a dear friend since meeting at our school in 1941, more than 60 years ago. Unable to travel to our Spring Exhibition and Reunion in May, 2003, she enthusiastically followed events via this website. Grace wrote of her memories of her time at the school, including Mr. Sargison (Headmaster), and teachers Miss Scott, "Pa" Jenkins, Norman Pett (creator of the Daily Mirror cartoon character "Jane") and Miss Lane, her dressmaking teacher, for whom she had a particular affection. She also remembered fellow pupils Marjorie Tarrant, Rita Bass, Daphne Davies, Jean Keasey, Ruth Palmer, John Tatlow, Gordon Dutton and Theo Madeley.
ALAN WILLIAM FREEMAN, died 26th. June 2004 at his home at Langton Herring, Dorset. Born Birmingham, 30th. May 1942, died following a long illness. A pupil of Moseley Art School between 1955 and 1958, he left with an artistic talent described as second to none. Following studies at Art College he went on to work in Commercial Art. He left the art world for other careers for many years but retained and improved his painting as a hobby. About 5 years ago he opened his own Gallery in Abbotsbury, Dorset. Alan's paintings were in great demand and a large number found their way into print and sold as cards. Alan had been renovating a studio at his home with the intention of providing art lessons later this year. Unfortunately, his illness prevented this from happening and we have been deprived of a very talented former pupil and friend. Alan leaves a partner, Hilary.
JOHN NARBETT died peacefully Monday, 8th. March 2004. John was a former pupil of the Moseley School of Art between 1946 and 1949. A popular publican and a very successful restaurateur, John owned The Queens at Belbroughton, Worcestershire. He died quietly on Monday, the 8th. March, just a month before he intended to retire. His funeral and interment took place at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Belbroughton on Friday the 19th. March 2004. The funeral was attended by more than seven hundred mourners, including family, friends, colleagues from the licensed and restaurant trades and Worcestershire freemasons.
BOB PARDOE d. 1971, Birmingham. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1957-1960. Living at home with his parents in Northfield, motor cars were the great passion of Bob's life, and he was therefore in his element being employed as a car body design draughtsman at the Austin Motor Company, Longbridge. He was very keen on participating in Hill Trials and it was this sport that brought him together with his friend and colleague at work, Eric Lawson, who also attended MSA between 1958-1961. The second letter he received from his mother after Eric emigrated to New Zealand in 1970 included a newspaper cutting containing the news that Bob and his fiancee had been killed instantly when his Jaguar motor car collided with a lorry which had jack-knifed across a road in Ladywood, Birmingham.
COLIN WILLIAM GRINNELL d. 13th March 2003 at Young Husband, Mannum, South Australia following "a short hard fight" against illness. Born 10th July 1942 in Tipton, Staffordshire, Colin attended Moseley School of Art 1955-1958. Emigrated to Australia with family 1960 and helped to develop the family newsagency business in Murray Bridge, South Australia, where he met his wife, Joy, to whom he was married for 39 years. Colin had a zest for life, and was involved in many projects including designing their first house, building a block of flats, extending the family home, developing a deer farm, and rebuilding a cruising boat. Greatly missed by wife Joy, children Jeff and Christine, grandchildren and friends from the Moseley School of Art.
JOHN FIELDHOUSE d. 1986 following a long illness. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1961-1968. A member of the first "11 Plus" intake. Deputy Head Boy 1967-8, together with his best friend, Phillip White, to whom John later acted as Best Man and godfather to Phillip's eldest daughter. John then attended Coventry College of Art and later became a very talented graphic designer and an authority on WW1 military aircraft and flying aces. He remained unmarried, mainly due to the persistent illness which he suffered throughout his adult life. Still greatly missed, his funeral was attended by Phillip White, Terry Savin, David Drinkwater and many other former friends from MSA.
RON WOODIN d. May, 2003. A pupil at Moseley Art School from about 1937, Ron later joined the Royal Air Force and was one of the longest serving radio operators on Lancaster bombers during World War II. A photograph of Ron together with the rest of the crew of his now famous aircraft is displayed at the RAF Museum at Hendon, London. Ron was regarded by his friends as a true gentleman and hero.
CHRISTOPHER WALKER d. 2nd September 2002 in New South Wales, Australia. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1956-59. Further details are not known at present.
TONY HIGGINS d. 29th September 2002 while motor racing in France. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1959-62. Tony worked as a jeweller for some years and played in bands. He then became an estate agent and, in 1984 bought a fishery at Wishaw, near the Belfry Hotel. He had a lifelong interest in racing Mini cars.
PETER DANIELS (known to friends as 'Digger') d. 23rd September 2002 after being admitted to hospital during the previous week. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1947-50.
RAYMOND ECCLESTON d. suddenly 3rd August 2002. Former pupil MSA 1946-49 and Head Boy. Following Moseley School of Art Ray went on to the Birmingham College of Art, Margaret St. where he attained NDD Painting. He also attained ATD, and for many years was head of Art at the Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School, Birmingham.
CANDIS CLEWER b. 1946 d. 1996 in Australia after a long illness, leaving three children and seven grandchildren. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1958-61, her mother was a close friend of the mother of Graeme Collins (President, MSAA). Both Graeme and Candice believed for more than twenty years that they were cousins. Designer at Lerose Fashions, Birmingham in the 1960's, acquainted with Mary Quant. Emigrated to New Zealand with her husband in 1972. Resumed her career as fashion designer before her death.
ROBERT LYCETT d. August 1991 after a long illness, leaving widow Jean and sons Scott and Dean. A former pupil Moseley School of Art 1961-1963, Bob became a prosperous businessman. A keen and talented sportsman and very well-liked and respected friend.
EDWARD BARKER b. 31st. May 1950, d. 18th. April 1997. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1962-1966. Prominent satirical cartoonist. Published in International Times, Observer, Cyclops, Nasty Tales. Acquitted of obscenity charges Old Bailey 1973. Wrote own epitaph: "Here lies Edward - Stick No Bills"
MAUREEN TAYLOR d. during mid-nineties. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1959-1961. Further details not known at present.
DENNIS FISHER d. approx. 1965. Believed died following road traffic accident whilst travelling abroad. Former pupil Moseley School of Art 1958-1961.
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The Moseley School of Art Association is an association formed to:
- promote and maintain, through exhibitions, reunions and other means personal contact between all former pupils and staff members of the Moseley Secondary School of Art, Moseley Road, Birmingham 12 England- promote the restoration and continued maintenance of the Moseley School of Art building, and
- to promote the activities of members who are active in any of the fields of art and the crafts, by means of publicity, sponsorship and procurement of artist materials at discount rates
© Graeme Collins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
No part of this website may be reproduced, transmitted or stored in a file retrieval system without obtaining prior explicit permission from the author, who retains intellectual copyright.
The Moseley School of Art Association 2003