(14 May 1912 – 23 September 2011)
Norman was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, and after school he developed two major interests: art and music. Following graduation from art college, he became a commercial artist for the Ashton Under Lyne Reporter in 1933, while teaching at the art school and playing drums in a swing band called The Manhattans. Norman’s love and appreciation of the English Countryside also emerged in the 1930s. First he travelled by bicycle and, later, by car. After obtaining his first car, motoring became and remained one of Norman’s pleasures throughout his life. In 1938, Norman met and fell in love with Ella Parrish who lived nearby. They were soon married.
During World War II, he served in the Royal Artillery but, after a serious illness, he transferred to the Pay Corps, returning after the War to the Reporter. In 1948, Norman joined the staff of A.V. Roe and Co. Ltd., becoming a technical illustrator and eventually Chief Artist.(Click here to view Article) Norman and Ella had two children, Malcolm in 1948 and Margaret in 1953. However, in 1958 Ella suffered a stroke, resulting in dependency on Norman for both physical and emotional support.
When Norman retired they moved to Charlton, near Andover. The Hampshire countryside was a delight to them both, offering many a venue for picnics, painting and views. Sadly, Ella’s second stroke in 1979 was fatal. Norman was alone, but now filled his time with the energetic family of his daughter and visits from his son and family now residing in the United States. In 1980, Norman visited Malcolm in Oklahoma and was given a tour of several Western states, which was truly a trip of a lifetime for him.
His artistic abilities remained prominent and he was very proud to become a Member of the Chartered Society of Designers, eligible to append ‘MCSD’ to his name. He loved music and could play many popular classics by ear on his piano. He produced a substantial number of landscapes and architectural watercolours, many of which found their way to the USA and some to Australia and New Zealand. His work reflects a sense of contentment during these years and the ease at which he put paint to paper never ceased to impress those with whom he was acquainted.
In 2000, a move to Littleton, near Winchester and close to his daughter’s home, provided a source of pleasure and stability. The year 2002 saw him celebrate his 90th birthday in grand style, with a gathering of friends and family contributing to a memorable occasion. Nine years later he passed away peacefully in his hundredth year. He is buried at Weyhill, Hampshire, finally reunited with his dear wife, Ella. The Reporter published a fitting tribute about their former employee in November 2011: (click here to view)