Wed, 24 July, 2024

Searching for “Scherzo”

RESEARCHER Glenn Reuben has been in touch, seeking information about two cartoonists: Scherzo, and Leonard Ward/Len Ward. If you can help Glenn, please email him here:

Glenn says: I’m trying to identify the artists and photographers of the front covers of every Christmas issue of the TV Times magazine going back to 1955, in time for its 70th anniversary next year. This also includes the TV Times Christmas Extra supplement which ran sporadically from 1957 to 1979 with various titles.

The front cover of the 1958 TV Times Christmas Extra (see above) was done by “Scherzo”. From what I’ve gathered from my research, he contributed one-panel gags to TV Times between 1956 and 1966 (shortly before it went national in 1968). In a January 1959 article about the various cartoonist contributors, (below), he was annoyingly the only one who declined to give his real name or a photograph, but he was described as being in his mid-thirties (so probably born between 1923 and 1925), married and a Northerner.

He also contributed to Meccano magazine in 1960, the Sunday Mirror between 1965 and 1972, to the Telegraph, the Daily Sketch and Punch magazine. The most recent work I could find was from the Look-In TV Comedy Annual in 1974.

I’ve asked John Freeman to put a blog out about him here: … and Vilnis Vesma of the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain : (this has also been sent out in their “Jester” newsletter). Also Bas Schuddeboom of the Lambiek website:

Scherzo was employed by the Charles E. Gilbert Artists’ Agency in Fleet Street, along with Reg Smythe of Andy Capp fame (well-known at the Mirror) and Roy Raymonde, but Raymonde’s son hadn’t heard of him. Nor has Steve Holland of the Bear Alley blog, nor veteran cartoonist Peter Maddocks. I’ve no other information on where he lived or when he was born or died, or if he’s still alive. Here are some more examples of Scherzo’s work.

Leonard Ward/Len Ward: The second face is Leonard Ward, who also went by Len Ward, LW or Nelward. He did drawings for football publications such as Raich Carter’s Soccer Star and Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly in the early 1950s.

From what I’ve gathered, he became the very first art editor of the TV Times in September 1955. The late Eric Linden, a columnist who worked at those football publications, went with him to TV Times (unfortunately, his daughter Kerry hasn’t heard of Ward). Ward did the TV Times Christmas Extra covers for 1959, 1962, 1964 and 1965, presumably leaving around the same time as the magazine went national in 1968. Below is his Lambiek page:

Ward eventually became a freelance artist and art consultant for a Brentwood-based printing company called Hussey & Greaves (later Hussey Knights), with the attached article from the Brentwood Gazette showing his face in 1987. According to the son of one of the founders of Hussey & Greaves, he may have been in the navy, maybe born around 1920 and possibly lived in the Epping/Loughton area in the 1980s, but this is guesswork. I suspect he’s no longer with us, but because it’s such a common name, searching Ancestry makes it hard to ascertain his birth and death dates. Steve Holland, Peter Maddocks et al. also don’t know any more about Ward.

I suspect he may have been born in 1924, lived in Hackney in London, married in 1947 and later lived in Whittlesford, perhaps with a wife called Betty (maiden name Stovell?), and died in 2001 and was buried in Cambridgeshire. This is having exhausted all possible routes via Ancestry’s website, but I’m not 100 per cent sure it’s correct.

Don’t miss these (with one revised date)

Two special Mirror dates for your diary.

Please note the revised date for Lynn White’s memorial service.


AS mad March tires itself out and we await April’s showers, I am struck by the awesome show of spring flowers this year.

The cheerful early daffs are fading now, but the grape hyacincth, primulas, tulips (I have just the one!), pansies, primroses and hellebores are all showing off outrageously.

The blue tits are busy flitting back and forth from their nesting box, while the starlings (Latin name, appropriately, Sturnus vulgaris), have wrecked the birds’ feeding station.

We do have reasons to be cheerful. Ed.                                                 (pic: ming-jun-tan/unsplash)

Do you know what Day it is?

A LITTLE whimsy, if you will, to brighten your Random Acts of Kindness Day…

Spring isn’t far away, but first we have to endure dark and grey February. What is it about February? Is it the bleakest month of all? After the hoohah of Christmas and New Year, frumpy February suffers a character bypass and stubbornly drags its feet while we anxiously wait for better weather and more daylight.

Valiant snowdrops and crocus are doing their best to liven up my garden, but it’s mostly looking rather soggy and wintry out there. I know it is winter and I shouldn’t wish my life away, but I really want my daffs to hurry up.

I cheered myself up on Shrove Tuesday with a banquet of pancakes and Cava, a minor oasis of indulgence during unloved February. My enjoyment lasted about as long as the bubbles.

But the date got me thinking about other memorable days in February (I know, I should get out more), and surfing the web, as you do, I found this marvellous website:

I shouldn’t be surprised to learn there’s a website for “awareness days”! Thereisadayforthat covers hundreds of special days which are celebrated in every corner of the world, but you can also check out the awareness calendar for a specific country.

I discovered that in the UK during February – apart from the obvious charity days and venerables such as the aforementioned Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s – we can also celebrate British Yorkshire Pudding Day (Feb 4th); National Sickie Day (5th); Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (6th); and Drink Wine Day (18th). And on Feb 27, why not enjoy the magnificently named World Spay Day?

All that made me smile, so I looked further ahead in the calendar. Now I have to decide whether to celebrate British Pie week, beginning on March 4; Dog Theft Awareness Day on March 14; National Black Pudding Day on March 18; or Wear A Hat Day (I kid you not) on March 28.

Then I checked out some birthdates. I know my birthday falls on St Matthew’s Day, but I’m delighted to learn it also coincides with Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day. How novel, I must remember to hug a Pole!

My friend Bill shares his birthday with St George and William Shakespeare – but I bet he doesn’t know it’s also National Macaron Day! (Not to be confused with macaroons, they don’t have a special day – yet.)

If it’s your birthday on Sept 4, you can celebrate Eat an Extra Dessert Day. April 4? It’s International Carrot Day! National Smile Month begins on May 16. You could have a ball in June with National Fish and Chip Day on the 7th, World Gin Day on the 8th, swiftly followed by National Beer Day on June 15th.

I could go on; there are awareness days for just about everything. I vote we should have a Hurry Up Springtime Day. Ed. (Image: Bich Tran,

Join the no-resolution revolution!

I’m not making any New Year resolutions this time round, it’s always so boringly predictable when I break them!

But here at the AMP we resolve to continue to represent and support all our members during the coming year.

And, of course, we wish you all a happy, and, probably more importantly, a healthy 2024 and beyond.  Ed. (Image: pexels-freestocksorg)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Wishing all our members and their families a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2024 and beyond.

Sign up to build Fleet Street’s Heritage Wall

Regular visitors to this website will be aware of the AMP’s support of the Fleet Street Heritage Project, co-ordinated by the tireless PIERS NICHOLSON (see previous posts/Mirror Pensioner). And now you can help secure a permanent heritage wall beneath the wonderful Fleet Street sundial, pictured. (There is an image of a mock-up of the wall below; the finished pieces will be ceramic.)

Piers writes: “Ever since the newspapers left in the 1980s, Fleet Street has lost a bit of its zing every year. Big banks and law firms have come – and gone. And there’s little to show that Fleet Street was once the heart of the newspaper industry.

We need to put the heritage back into Fleet Street. I’ve been busy lately trying to advance the Heritage Wall underneath the sundial in Bouverie Street, and floating out an online petition about it. Please sign the petition here

“We’ve been working successfully on the Heritage project for four years. We’ve designed and installed the amazing Fleet Street Heritage Sundial, which has the names of five heritage newspapers spread over a 10-metre wall.

“We created 70 information panels telling many stories of the fascinating past of this iconic area and have exhibited these panels as temporary exhibitions in five local locations. We’ve done this with no paid staff, and kind help from volunteers. We are the Fleet Street Heritage Community Interest Company (CIC), a non-profit organisation created in 2020. We have been able to raise funds for these projects from the City of London CIL Neighbourhood Fund. It’s amazing what good ideas and a lot of persistence will do.

“We need planning permission for our next important project: Our Open House exhibition in September 2023 displayed 56 of our panels at a site adjoining Fleet Street and drew plenty of attention from passers-by who really appreciated the wealth of information presented. Many signed our petition to make it permanent. We have a great story to tell, and this is a great way to tell it.

“The City already has two heritage excellent walls, though both are in somewhat out-of-the-way places. The marvellous tiled wall in Magpie Alley off Bouverie Street tells the story of the early printing industry in words and pictures. The Queenhithe mosaic panel tells the story of the City of London from Roman times in an excellent 30-metre display.

“We are more likely to get permission if there is plenty of support. Please sign our petition which reads: “We urge the City of London Corporation to do everything in its power to establish a permanent, openly accessible exhibition of ceramic tiles incorporating as many as possible of the information panels displayed at the Open House 2023.”

“There is also this book of our website, available from Amazon at £17.99, from the Temple Church for £15, or we can take bulk orders at £12 each here: The book measures 9 x 6, and contains all the pages currently on the website.”

Annual meetings – London and Glasgow


SOME of the attendees at the AMP AGM 2023, held at St Bride Institute, off Fleet St

THE AMP’s annual general meeting 2023 in London, and our Scots’ annual meeting in Glasgow, were completed successfully this month. Full reports will appear in Mirror Pensioner, Spring 2024.

All members of the MGN Pension Scheme will shortly receive a Member Update from Quentin Woodley, Independent Chairman of MGN Pension Trustees Ltd, outlining the latest news about the Scheme’s actuarial valuations as at December 31, 2019 and 2022.

Mirror Pensioner is on its way – plus AGM reminder

IT’S that time again! Your autumn 2023 Mirror Pensioner magazine is at the printers, and should clatter through members’ letterboxes during the first week of October.

Plenty of time for you to read all about this year’s AGM which is on Tuesday, October 17, at St Bride Institute, 14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ. And about our Scottish annual meeting on Tuesday, October 24, at The Studio, 67 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6AE.

This autumn issue of Mirror Pensioner is a 16-page special – there’s a four-page centre section devoted to the late Andrew Golden’s personal account of the fight for our pensions in the aftermath of Robert Mawell’s death, with contributions from other leading figures of the day.

We’ve also got chairman Deborah Thomas’s thoughts on buy-ins, and treasurer Ray Evans’s financial and membership reports. He also re-visits his perptual quest to track down our missing members. (Don’t forget to tell the AMP if you move house!)

You can also read secretary Gerald Mowbray’s annual review; an Elvis-themed Chairman’s Chat; and a fascinating feature about an ambitious 90-year-old. There’s a story about a marathon journey; a piece about the Daily Record war memorial; your chance to save Fleet Street’s history – and much, much more.




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