Saturday, 15 October 2016

Pinner Pin-up

Today there is a new museum opening in November London.  In the wealthy area of Pinner,  in the Borough of Harrow,  they are celebrating  one of their famous residents.  Actually,  I am not sure you are allowed to live in Pinner if you are not famous. This leafy suburb has been home to Mrs Beeton,  Elton John, David Suchet,  Olivia Newton John,  Antony  Newley, Lord  Nelson's daughter, Michael Rosen,  Ronnie Barker... The list goes on and on. 
But  this weekend's hero is William Heath Robinson, illustrator and artist.  He lived here for the second half of his life, 1903 till 1944. Here's the new museum which has a gallery of his works. 

His imaginative and detailed drawings, particularly of complicated contraptions,  mean that his name has become a byword for far-fetched gadgets  

He also produced advertising material for a number of British Companies

...and he illustrated a number of books, particularly for children - I love this take on Noah's Ark!

Described as a gentle, genial man, he was loved by all who knew him. His words were ever kind, no bitterness, no racist jokes, and he avoided politics - his work therefore appealed to a wide range of people.
Always encouraging others, with a cheerful outlook on life. With his brother Tom, he founded a walking group called the "Frothfinders Federation" - a group of like-minded friends, who spent their leisure time walking in the surrounding countryside, eating and drinking at local hostelries en route.

It's good that future generations will be able to enjoy his work. 

These days, when everything is electronic and worked by tiny chips, it is good to remember the days when things were mechanical - when you needed cogs and gears and pulleys and levers, hooks and bits of string to make things go.
Nick Park says H-R was one of his inspirations when he came to design all the Wallace and Gromit stuff. You can certainly see the H-R influence in the W&G films.
I hope they are queuing up to go and look at the gallery.


  1. Oh cool! It might be one that me and Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers visit on one of our little jaunts up to London. I had a boyfriend from Pinner once. He wasn't famous. x

  2. I used to have a tote bag with the HR Noah's Ark on. I also used some of his pictures in school work (before the NC came in & spoiled everything!!)
    I used to go to ceildh's in Pinner. I never saw anyone famous!

  3. Frothfinders! How lovely. Niqi and I may need to replace our now rare whimsey expeditions with this!


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