In an interview with the Guardian's Steve Bell he described his time there:
"I desperately wanted to put down what was happening, because I thought if by any chance there was a record, even if I died, someone might find it and know what went on. At times I was so ill that I couldn't draw at all. You're doing 16 hours a day rock breaking and you're exhausted. You come back and have a bowl of rice. You have no light, but you have fire, a big fire keeping the mountain lions away, and snakes perhaps, and by the light of the fire, I made the drawings. I didn't have a watch or anything, so you just lie down in the tent until you were dragged out the next morning to go back to the rock breaking. And so all these drawings, some of them very bad, were all I could do in a state of exhaustion."
Steve BellThe Guardian March 9, 2010
In these two clips we see the staff and young "ladies" of St. T's at their finest, or at least as good as they will ever get:
But Searle's fame wasn't to rest of his naughty schoolgirls - he output was to include cartoons, travel books, the adventures of Molesworth, his particular take on his beloved cats, advertisements and commemorative medals were all to bear the distinctive spiky style of Searle's pen. I was particularly miffed when I discovered that somehow in all the moves I've lost - sold? given away? - a hysterical look at the history of The Hudson's Bay Company that he and Kildare Dobbs created to celebrate the 300 anniversary of that august institution. Amongst the illustrations was a less than happy Queen Victoria, in her lap a pile of beaver pelts and on her face a look of regal distaste - all captured with a few strokes from the pen of a master.
|Victoria and Albert show an atypical ebullience in "Always With It" a cartoon Searle did in 2007 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of London's V and A.|
Today's Guardian has a slideshow highlighting some of Ronald Searle's work and his life here.
03 January - 1987 - Aretha Franklin is the first women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame