City’s fa­mous faces

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Nigel Thorn­ton nigel.thorn­ton@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTnigelthorn­ton 01733 588714

To­day’s Look­ing Back pic­tures are car­toons de­pict­ing char­ac­ters from Peter­bor­ough’s past. One I have a lot of in­for­ma­tion about, but I have very lit­tle about the other.

The car­toon on the right dates from about 1944 and fea­tures char­ac­ters who fre­quented the Cat­tle Mar­ket and Peter­bor­ough Agri­cul­tural Show which later be­came the East Of Eng­land Show.

It was com­mis­sioned by ‘Happy’ Ketch­e­son, who was a millionaire pub­lisher who lived on East­field Road.

He was the owner of a hu­mourous mag­a­zine called Blightly which was pub­lished dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

The car­toon was the work of Fleet Street car­toon­ist Sal­lon and was com­mis­sioned by Ketch­e­son to raise funds for the Red Cross.

Copies were sold for £1 – quite a sum for those days – and I be­lieve there are stilll a few in ex­is­tance to­day.

There are 67 peo­ple de­picted on the pic­ture in­clud­ing auc­tion­eers, farm­ers, vets, so­lic­i­tors and pub land­lords.

The pin-striped gent in the cen­tre is the then Lord Burgh­ley who be­came the 6th Mar­quess of Ex­eter and the man to the left of him is Happy Ketch­e­son him­self.

In 1968 the Evening Tel­graph pub­lished the car­toon and of­fered a prize of £3 guineas to any reader who could name all 67 char­ac­ters. No­body did.

But some 20 years later a so­lic­i­tor called Richard Hill was suc­cess­ful. Mr Hill was fas­ci­nated by the car­toon and took on the chal­lenge of iden­ti­fy­ing the peo­ple.

Which is why I can tell you that among the colour­ful char­ac­ters are pig dealer Porky Bryan, dealer Lumpy Snell and vet Cap­tain Townsend.

There are also some well known Peter­bor­ough names in­clud­ing Ver­gette, Horrell, Hand, Jack Hunt and Fred ‘Butcher’ Brown.

All I know about the sec­ond car­toon is the in­for­ma­tion within it. It was drawn by “Matt’’ and pub­lished in the Sun­day Graphic on June 28, 1931.

It de­picts var­i­ous “Peter­bor­ough Celebri­ties’’ in­clud­ing the mayor, the vicar of Peter­bor­ough and the city’s Chief Con­sta­ble.

Mr Billy Ged­des, “a pop­u­lar and mus­cu­lar lo­cal sports­man’’ and the “busiest man in Peter­bor­ough’’ Ald Whitsed are also immortalised.

Oddly an un­named car park at­ten­dant also fea­tures – pre­sum­ably he was quite a char­ac­ter.

If you have any in­for­ma­tion about ei­ther of the car­toons, please get in touch.

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