The year was 1971 and the place, Kings Lynn,
. I had intended the show to be a low-key fringe event at the Kings Lynn Arts Festival. However, a week before the show opened the key signature changed from minor to major. Norfolk
Being arrested for a good cause helped. My crime…I pasted a protest sticker over the council’s notice of closure for one of the town’s historic alleyways. This brought public attention the series of thirty paintings I had made of the town’s rich historical heritage – including a painting of the threatened alleyway. The show opened at 10.00 on the Saturday morning and by mid-day ninety per cent of the paintings had sold!
Over the remaining ten days of the exhibition, there was a constant stream of visitors. By midweek, I was getting suspicious of two smartly dressed fellows that repeatedly made the rounds. Just before the weekend, they revealed their crested identity cards. They were checking out the festival in readiness for a visit of the Queen Mother. Out of all that was on offer, they thought my exhibition would be right up her street.
Alas, there was no way that the festival organisers were going to let an upshot artist on the fringe steal the limelight and I had to wait another thirty years for my Royal Patronage. But that’s another story. For now, here’s the exhibition poster and a photo of a photo of one of the paintings.