At work over the last thirty years I have been honoured to receive illustrations of my time in wool. The cartoonist named Buzz is almost certainly a crofter or has crofting connections, as his images concern wool and there is a subtle hint in the phrasing of the cartoons that we could be doing better with the price of wool. As I am recording my working life with wool I thought it would be only fitting to share with you the work of a very talented and gifted artist, who I cannot name, despite asking around, I am none the wiser as to who he or she is.
Lang Bags 1988 -The first cartoon appeared in 1988 and made reference to very long wool sacks which I bought at a much reduced price. I soon discovered why when they arrived due to their narrowness and length they were extremely difficult to pack and even harder to unpack. A story went around of a lady becoming stuck while packing a bag, as portrayed below.
Twa Lugs 1989 – We find unusual items in amongst the wool I even found a gold watch, a family heirloom, the owner said it was either in a fleece or over the side of his boat while at the fishing, but never sheep’s “lugs” — or ears! This cartoon is a reference to the introduction of electric power shearing, as depicted below.
Bruce and Beryl’s Silver wedding 1990 – My wife Catherine’s relatives wedding celebration, held at the Bixter village hall, which made me, think Buzz was from the surrounding district.
Poor Wool Prices, November 1992 Again a skit at the poor price of wool, especially the natural coloured fleece. One of the main reasons being wool mills preferred to dye the white into a natural colour; we were to change this in 1997 with the introduction of undyed natural yarns.
Magic carpets 1994 – I consider this cartoon to signify appreciation of the fact we were trying to improve wool prices by trying new ventures.
My 50 years 2017- Buzz acknowledging my 50 years in the wool trade, a very fitting tribute.
I would like to thank the mysterious Buzz for all the cartoons over the years, and if anyone is capable of shedding some light on him or her, I would be very grateful!