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street artist-50's

G

goingforit

Guest
Back to haunt you folks.
Do any of you remember,back in the 50's, an elderly gentleman who sat in either margaret st or Eden Place [which one ?] surrounded by the little works of art he'd created on the stone slabs. people would throw coppers to him all saturday long[ was it just saturday?] Would love to hear your memories of him. Do any of you know anything about him? look forward to your replies.
Ps. Thanks for your previous help- John.
 

maggieuk

The Fairybrain of Brum
Hi John
I remember him sitting in Margaret St the pictures were lovely .It was something i had forgotten over the years thanks for bringing it up:)
Maggie
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
The old gentleman sat at the Edmund Street end of a passage that ran at the side of the Town Hall from Colmore Row to Edmund Street. I think I discussed this topic on this site some time last year. Now the same as then I have forgotten the name of the passage.

I mentioned then two interesting facts? about this gentleman, one was that a limousine dropped him off in the mornings and picked him up again in the evenings.

The second one is that he was one of a very few people in Birmingham that held a license to beg issued by the city council.

How true these facts are I cannot vouch for.

Phil
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
PHIL
FOR SOME REASON , I DO NOT BELIEVE That TRUE,I NEVER SEEN THIS MAN Being Dropped Off At Any Time ,When I Was Around In That Qaurter In The Fifties
There Was A Big Story Told By One Of His Family And i think It Was In The Sundfay Mercury One Sunday In The 60,s There Is A True Story Told Some-where About This Poor Old Gentleman He Certainly Was,t Rich He Used To COME bY bUS
If One Of Our Researchers Have Time In The Libary In The ARCHIVES I,m Sure You Will Learn The Truth It Tells Of His Life And The Death Of This Man ,And The More i Think ABOUT It It Was His Sister BEST WISHES ASTONIAN ,;;
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Astonian

As I said I have no background to these stories, they are only what were circulated by word of mouth, and I have to be honest I was never bothered enough in my younger days to try and find out if they were true.

As you say, others may know the facts of the matter.

Phil
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
PMC
THE STORY NEVER CAME TO PRINT UNTIL AT LEAST TWENTY YEARS TO MY KNOWLEDGE aND It Was pUBLICISED THEN BY A RELATIVE IN fACT I THINK iT Was The b,ham mail that Done The Story , That Will Be Some-where In The Archives ,
I Know When We Was Kids We Was Mystifyed How A Blind Man Could Draw Such Remarkable Drawings ButThe Story Was Told By ARELATIVE hOW hE cAME bY Bus
Every day For Years With His Little Dog , Very Remarkable Man ,
 

GER22VAN

master brummie
I remember those remarkable drawings in Eden Place done in coloured chalk on the left hand side as you walked from Colemore Row. I never did see the person who did them. I used to think what a pity that such talent would be washed away with the first downpour of rain. I think the same with Ice Scuptures as they all look works of art to me.
 

jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
I remember the street artist in the passage way Eden place near the Town Hall
and Margaret Street. I was always very fascinated by his drawings. I have a feeling that he was an ex-soldier from WW1 down on his luck. I was worried too when it was raining and the art would be washed away. I don't think he was wealthy at all. He was always very grateful for any money people gave to him. I wonder if the City gave him a special licence because was ex-military (if in fact he was). I would like to know more about him.

The Julian Beever 3D drawings on pavement are simply amazing. I have some on my other computer and they constantly fascinate.
 
G

goingforit

Guest
Thanks for all your replies.
The story we heard as kids, was that he was picked up by a chauffeur driven rolls! Took it with a pinch of salt, even at that age. Still do not know if he was there saturday only. Interesting, jennyann that you used the term passage! Before I posted I had to refer to the a-z to get the place names, because friends I spoke to were in disagreement about the exact place where he sat. I myself was convinced there was a Margaret or S't Margarets passage in that little area,though I must stress that 7 seas worth of water have passed under the bridges of my life since those innocent days, and the old memory is a little dodgy these days. Can anyone pinpoint the exact spot?
Once again, thanks for your time-John
 

Peter Walker

gone but not forgotten
I do remember the gentleman, as I was a student at the Art School in Margaret Street for five years, and he was almost always there. But I was around 20 at the time, so I'm afraid didn't really notice older people.
I do remember two wide boys started to sell 'magic' dolls. One did the talking, while the other stood with his hands in his pockets, facing the other way and pulled the cotton anchored to the railing to make the doll move. On the second day, some of us students went out there and set up in opposition. They soon left.
There were other occasional shysters, more than once doing the three-card trick with membetrs of the team looking both ways for the approach of Mr Plod. But our friend with the pictures was never moved on!
Peter
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Perhaps some of you remember this old gent, I do I remember passing him many times and I think sometimes I dropped a couple of bob in his hat.

Reg Cooper, Blind Busker in Corporation St.

Phil


Reg Cooper Blind Busker Corporation St.jpg
 
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jennyann

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Staff member
Hi Goingforit: I don't ever remember the pavement artist chap anywhere else except in the passage coming through from Margaret Street to Colmore Row.
He used to draw his pictures on three or four of the concrete setts. Like you say one's memory can fade but I have a vivid memory of that man in that space.

Peter, great story about the "doll men". There were, as my Father would say,
a few "Wide Boys" about in town back then. They often had a great system with one of their group looking out for the police. I once fell for the gold rings that turned my finger green.....that was coming up the Bull Ring one Friday.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi Going forit
If You Come Out Of The Council House And Turn towards St Philips Church Yard
With in 60 Yards Of Walking FromThem Steps There Is A Passage Way Which Runs Down The Side Of The Council House On Your Left There Was One Telephone Boxs On Its Own In Those Days , Now I BelieveThere Is Is Half Adozon Of Them Grouped To gETHER Just As You Are Approaching The End Of The Passage Wag That Is Where This Old Gentleman Used To Sit With Is Little Jack Russell In All Kinds Of Wether
When Ever I Have Been To Central Libary I Have Walked Through That Passage And Always Looked Down On The EXCACTSpot Where This Old Fellow Was When I Was A Nipper And Thought Of Him T
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I remember this man and his pictures, I cannot remember the name of the place but am sure it was in asquare or at the junction of two places, I also remember my nan saying he was a millionaire, who got other people who did the art? would have been in the sixty's I think.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
mossq

I think you are right about this man plying his trade in Eden Place at the side of the Council house as I have seen the photo before, but I don't think this is the original gentleman who was a little older than this gentleman and wore a peaked cap and also I think his dog was smaller.

Phil
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
mossq

I think you are right about this man plying his trade in Eden Place at the side of the Council house as I have seen the photo before, but I don't think this is the original gentleman who was a little older than this gentleman and wore a peaked cap and also I think his dog was smaller.

Phil

Yes Phil we have discussed this photo before the original artist did most of his work with coloured chalks on the pavement slabs.Dek
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi phil and jean
yes they are only rummours about the very old gentleman whom was the only gentleman to be excepted by the council
he was a very old gentle guy ; with is little dog and he wore is old coat and hat in all weathers for many years
i think he was in his eightys i beleive it looked he never had the strengh to stand up all spraweld out
his cap was full to the brim most days of the weeek and he was very popular with the council and the public ;
this old guy was remembered by every body in brum ; and yes jean it was his daughter or i can say it was a familky member
whom was responible for putting his life story of him and is health he never died as a millionare but he made a little comfy for him self
yes he did die eventualy through bad health for being a very artistic artist of what he was and you can find is story by the family in one of the years gone by in the good old sunday mercury and it was a two page centre i think it was and it was in the fiftys
the guy in the car , tryed to try is luck at the game of sketching and try and get a few shilling but he was warned off by council
because it was classed as hawking on the street in those late fiftys after the old gentlman died and because it was a complete mess od scratched chalk nonsence ; thats why they moved him on band stopped it and no one ever moved on his pitch after the dear old gentle mam died if you have time to search the mercury of yester year i think it was around 1958 this article was publishes in the mercury and with his name
he had to be one of only true street and an artist of brum that ever was ;; astonian
 
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