A burst of British Weather meant that Saturday’s Big Draw events on the South Bank in London had to be swiftly moved, from the open-air space of The Scoop, next to City Hall, to the nearby Hay’s Galleria.
The cartoonists’ spirits were not dampened by this turn of events, however, even though the move meant that many of us precious artists, unused to heavy lifting as we are, had to carry our own trestle tables.
PCO members were on hand to provide workshops throughout the event, for budding artists young and old. These were run by Wilbur Dawbarn, Tim Harries, Chichi Parish, above, and The Surreal McCoy.
The Hay’s Galleria proved to be a great venue with lots of members of the public passing through and stopping to take part in the workshops and watch the Battle of the Cartoonists banners being created.
The Battle was hosted – impressively without the usual microphone or megaphone – by Maxwell Hutchinson, the architect and Sony award-winning radio broadcaster, seen here brandishing a copy of Foghorn, who did a sterling job of talking up the noble profession of cartooning in a suitably erudite manner.
For the Battle, the PCO’s victorious Team Bloghorn from 2009 was this year rebranded as Team Foghorn, in order to give a push to our sister print magazine.
The PCO team was, left to right, Cathy Simpson, Ian Ellery, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan and Nathan Ariss. Cathy was standing in as captain for Pete Dredge, who co-ordinated planning of the banner beforehand but was unable to attend on the day. All banners were on the festival theme of “Make your mark on the future”.
We competed against three other teams: Private Eye (Andrew Birch, Henry Davies, Simon Pearsall and Steve Way), The Guardian (Steve Bell and Martin Rowson alongside Ben Jennings and Anna Trench who made their debut in the newspaper over the summer) and, due to the fact that the Financial Times team was unable to make it, a hastily assembled “Coalition” team (formed the day before by Matt Buck, Alex Hughes and David Trumble).
Each of the groups that Team Foghorn faced included at least one PCO member, such is the reach of the organisation: Bell, Birch, Buck, Hughes and Rowson are all in the PCO.
This made losing – as the Private Eye team romped to victory in the traditional “cheer-o-meter” from the public – slightly easier to take! As did the usual camaraderie from cartoonists from all teams in the pub afterwards.
Our compere looks on as Andrew Birch, Steve Way and Simon Pearsall put their backs into the Private Eye banner, while Henry Davies puts his knees in
Another marvellous Big Draw then, and Bloghorn would like to say many thanks, as ever, to Sue Grayson Ford and all at The Campaign for Drawing.
Photos by Gerard Whyman and Denis Dowland.