Beginnings, 1945 - 1969
I was born in London on the 26th of July 1945. I lived at 52 Shakespeare Road, Herne Hill, SE until 1961. My childhood love of art grew during time spent at St. Judes Primary school where, inspired by pots of thickened paint, I was content to paint for hours on the school easels affixed with art paper.
My mother, Grace Winifred Underwood (19061986) loved to draw and paint. I remember spending many hours at her side doing just that. Mother was not an accomplished artist and, like so many things in her life, never had the opportunity to develop her talents. She played the piano, mostly by ear, and I recall her happily playing her way through a song. Since we had no piano at home, this usually happened at family gatherings, weddings, and funeral receptions. Mother was the youngest of six children and, after the death of her mother, she was treated very poorly by her stepmother. Her education was limited due to frequent changes of schools, a result of the familys many moves to manage public houses around London. She married my father while in her late thirties, taking on the role of homemaker, and later working in a munitions factory during the Second World War.