A Place to Work

A Place to Work




There I shared space with amongst others fellow illustrator Rod Hunt. This was a great position, a fact not lost on Greenwich University who a year later bulldozed our studios and built their shiny new campus right on the top of it. Rod moved down the road to Woolwich, an option that would have been open to me but I decided that the commuting from Bromley, where we now lived, would be a bit of a drag.

Instead I moved to a converted factory, the Maybray Works in Lower Sydenham which had just been opened up by the Artist’s Studio Company. With the best will in the world you couldn’t claim that Lower Sydenham was anywhere near as attractive as Greenwich, but it did boast a huge Sainsbury’s Sava Centre ! It was also very handy for the Lower Sydenham train station. Too handy in fact, two years later we were given our marching orders as developers were going to flatten our admittedly drafty studios and whack a huge development of flats on top of them. Can you see a pattern forming?

Via word of mouth I found out that a local developer had a few offices to let above an estate agents in Crystal Palace. The flat roof was a bit leaky but it had central heating and great views all over London. In a case of history repeating itself the views proved to be too good. Our landlord, not unexpectedly, announced that he was converting our offices into bespoke flats.

On the road again. This time back down the South Circular to Forest Hill once again, to a converted factory run by Whirled Arts. I spent a couple of winter’s at 118, Stanstead with amongst others children’s book illustrator Sarah Horne. Towards the end of my time there the huge windows without any sort of double glazing became a bit of an issue. It was brass monkeys !

My next move was a return to where my Odyssey had first begun all those years ago in Brixton. I found desk space in Tulse Hill Studios near to Brockwell Park. These studios boasted plentiful, albeit rather expensive, heating, although after a while the commute from Bromley to Brixton became rather onerous. It was fine in the summer when I’d cycle it but navigating the hill at Crystal Palace on a rainy Autumn morning wasn’t much fun.

Salvation was at hand in the form of Beckenham Park Mansion. Slap bang in the middle of Beckenham Place Park this palladium style mansion is home to a small group of artists who I’m very glad to be one of. I’m hoping that this may be my last studio in London and my quest may at last be over. Fingers crossed.

Brixton Enterprise Centre at Bon Marche Studios in the 1980s