Ackroyd, Norman (4 of 24).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

  • Add a note
    Log in to add a note at the bottom of this page.
  • All notes
  • My notes
  • Hide notes
Please click to leave a note

The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »

Tags (top 25):
(No tags found for this item)
  • Type


  • Duration


  • Shelf mark


  • Subjects


  • Recording date

    2009-05-25, 2009-06-15, 2009-08-10, 2009-09-14, 2009-12-14, 2010-01-11, 2010-02-08, 2011-05-09, 2011-05-16, 2011-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Ackroyd, Norman, 1938- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: [sound levels need to be enhanced] [2:00:53] Conversation between NA and JH about the quality of the print JH as just made; JH explains problem and NA’s input. NA’s etchings of Anglesey; using specially made plates made from copper from local mine, copper tokens given to miners, pieces of copper from hull of ship, The Victory. NR’s visit to Taunton in 1970s when sea-charts were being printed on huge copper plates; transfer to off-set litho, NA bought some of the obsolete equipment. Details the plates for NA’s Anglesey commission, difference from plates NA used for Sutton Bank image. Worked on silicone bronze in British Embassy in Moscow. Friend, Andrew Edmunds, showed NA one of Hogarth’s copper plates. [NA in conversation with JH’s two daughters] NA’s feelings on first seeing Anglesey plates. Henry Abercrombie, casts work for Barry Flanaghan, Anish Kapoor etc, long-term friend of NA. Way NA will work with Anglesey plates. Sugar aquatint process which allows for change. Use of mirror. (20:34) Learning how Picasso made etchings through visit to Lecourier Studio, Madam Lecourier; use of pen with sugar solution, NA developed technique for own use; Madam Lecourier demonstrating mixture Picasso used; NA’s retractable pen nibs; visited Lecourier Studio after started teaching at Central. Further details Anglesey plates; NA had made drawings, will return to Anglesey later in year. (32:17) Relationship NA’s painting of Skellig discussed in last session and etching pinned to beam referred to in Track 3, has made many paintings and etchings of same subject, reason why one image will be painted, another etched; ‘etching an economic and elegant way of thinking’. Picasso’s etchings. Details other finished etchings on beam; Brennan pool, River Spey, Knockando; High Island; Repton’s Prospect, Antony House; Isle of Muck; cork tree at Antony House; Ambleside end of Windermere looking towards Grizedale Forest; bridge on River Tee near Ludlow Castle; Patrick’s Church, Croagh Patrick (mountain); birds rising in morning on north Norfolk coast. Each year NA does set of etchings, mostly of specific area; will next do composite reflecting a number of places, is looking for 10-12 etchings to make up the set. Has approx 50 plates in use in workshop. Changes NA has made to cork tree image since last recording. Richard Carew Pole and Mary Carew Pole, Antony House. (40:35) Sculpture NA is thinking of making for meadow at Antony House. [Sound improves a bit during this discussion] Sculpture in landscape; Bryan Kneale piece in RA forecourt during 2009 Summer Exhibition; Yorkshire Sculpture Park. (47:49) No garden in childhood, spent time in municipal park. Childhood home. Description parents’ appearance, their energy, working hours. CA close to her siblings; NA’s childhood holidays in Pennines with maternal uncle Ralph, haymaking, milk from dairy, ‘mistle’; NA would draw, had first watercolours aged approx 8/9; practiced cricket; primus stove. (1:02:28) Childhood watercolours; CA. Pressure to learn piano. Problems parents’ generation had to surmount. CA. (1:05:26) Harry, Margaret, Ralph, NA’s three older siblings; period when all five children lived at home at same time. Harry would take NA running, taught him to play chess, would help with homework, went fishing together, NA would draw; brother won scholarship to National College of Food Technology, worked for Sainsbury’s, worked for Chicago meat machinery firm, for Dutch firm, for Mathiesons, was director of Unigate Dairies, developed techniques for curing ham; pianist; NA’s memories of Sainsbury’s factory on Stamford Street. Harry set up business with his children, Yorkshire Pudding Factory/Company, sold to Northern Foods; Miles Ackroyd still a shareholder. Harry’s children, Roger, Ian, Miles, Mandy. (1:16:12) Alan Sainsbury was friend of BHS, visited NA’s home and NA visited his country home; Penny Hughes Stanton [PHS], mother of NA’s two youngest children, PA and Simeon (SA). Babette Sainsbury; Alan Sainsbury and BHS. Effect of BHS’s war injury. (1:19:25) Gregynog Press workshop, BHS, Gertrude Hermes, Leon Underwood; D.H. Lawrence, T.E. Lawrence; Ida Graves. Anne, Australian painter, PHS’s mother. Art in Alan Sainsbury’s home; Babette. David Sainsbury, Susie Sainsbury collect NA’s work; NA’s current commission supported by David Sainsbury’s trust fund which sent him to Galapagos Islands in January 2009 re [Cambridge] Sainsbury Laboratory, building opening in 2010; will work in steel; thought would be single image but is now doing composite of 40 images. Galapagos Islands. Finding inspiration through working and trying ideas; macquette for Sainsbury Laboratory. Drawing books, digital camera re trip to Galapagos; photographs of NA working. Research since return from Galapagos; need for consistency re production of images; will make each image small-scale and then take them full size. (1:35:00) Etching engineering, re NA, re heart valves, printed circuits in radio; NA has used factory at St Neots, for approx 20 years, Photofabrication (Services) Ltd. (1:37:30) NA’s brother, Harry, b 1936, their relationship; Harry’s wife, Alice. Harry and NA’s parents. NA’s brother, Ralph (deceased) went into butchering business after National Service, became inspector of abattoirs in East Riding of Yorkshire; NA’s relationship with Ralph; Ralph’s sons, Stuart and Steven continue Ackroyd’s Restaurants Meats; Ralph’s wife, Rita. Clarification AA’s butcher’s shops, his retirement, end of the business; AA would help out in shops run by former apprentices. Margaret, NA’s sister, worked GPO, Butlin’s. NA cricket mad as teenager. Margaret married son of local coalman, Hayward Gomersall; their eldest daughter, Cynthia, whom NA would babysit when a student at Leeds Art School. (1:51:40) Cynthia now lives in Melbourne, NA close to her; Cynthia became a librarian, NA’s role in changing her life by suggesting she became a librarian on a cruise ship; Margaret became half of singing duo with Johnny Greco. Margaret’s marriage, sons Paul and Richard (now in charge of firefighting services in vale of York). Family gathering for Margaret’s 80th birthday, December 2008. (2:00:53)

  • Metadata record:

    View full metadata for this item