Monday, November 22, 2010

Incidental England

During my stay in London, working as a correspondent for SA Morning Newspaper in 1990 and 1991, I did scores of drawings of all shapes and sizes on pages of newspapers or in my notebooks. This is a small cross-section of them.

This somewhat forlorn face is done on a full-page spread in the Guardian of May 14, 1990. It contains the words: "The political future of South Africa. What business is it of South Africa's biggest business?" I suspect it was followed by another full-page ad from someone like Anglo American.

This group of menhirs also cropped up.

I like this, on a mangled envelope kept from that time.

Britain is renowned for its caring side, with people giving avidly of both time and money to various good causes.

Two little figures in discourse.

Two more crazies from those days.

Another wierdo.

And another.

Like something from the Yellow Submarine movie, these hands are steeped in British culture.

This is a bit ugh, but I had to include it. It is a faxed page from the British Actors' Equity Association, which I used as a coaster for my tea mug for a few months. It was the Equity ban on having anything to do with apartheid SA which saw us cut off from the best of British television in the 1970s, soon after we got TV in 1976. We were lucky, however, to see that gem of a documentary, The World At War, before our isolation and subsequent diet of largely trashy American programmes. Equity would later lift is restrictions as apartheid withered and died.

This, I suspect, is from the Foreign Correspondents' Association, and alerts yours truly to the press briefings of the PM.

Another coffee-mug coaster, which includes some drawings and interesting political stuff.

Tea or coffee stains? It's hard to tell. Anyway, this was another faxed missive from Equity.

Part of our brief was to fax through articles of interest to our group publications, especially the financial ones, from papers with whom we had lifting rights - in this case the Wall Street Journal.

Another of the wacky characters from my subconscious.

And another.

The drawing was why I kept this page, but the names on it are significant. Ben Skosana, I think, had Inkatha links, while Peter Bean, I think, was a press liaison officer for the Tory government. Karen Talbot was with the Anti-apartheid Movement, and if I recall correctly was prominent in a protest against Dr Ali Bacher in the UK.

Here is another page with a little drawing, but which also has quite an interesting news snippet. I covered the scene outside 10 Downing Street after a meeting between Mrs Thatcher and the recently released Nelson Mandela.

Again kept for the drawing, this features the name of Patsy Robertson who, if my memory serves me well, was a Jamaican woman who served as the main press liaison person for the Commonwealth.

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