City’s famous faces
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.