W3C Cartoons by Wilk DO U KNOW?
 

John Billy (Wilk) Wilkinson lived in Keswick, born in 1906 he died in 1994, he is famous for his gentle caricatures of Lakeland characters and today many of his works command prices of several hundred pounds at auction. I did not know Wilk but my father and great uncles did, one of whom he drew in 1935. If memory serves The Pheasant public house up by Keswick hospital once had a fine collection of his work on the wall. Below are a few of his “hunting” works.

Email me if you can give information about anymore of his cartoons.

George CGraham, Phil Davidson and Johnnie Richardson by Wilk, 1989
George Graham, Phil Davidson and Johnnie Richardson by Wilk, 1989

'Holed@, Joe wear and his terries, by Wilk, date unknown
'Holed', Joe Wear and his terriers, by Wilk, date unknown


“When the Moon comes over the mountain”
Joe Wear and his hounds outside the Travellers Rest Grasmere by Wilk, 1987

Update June 2010 - More Wilk

Since we ran the Wilk pictures a little while ago, several people have contacted us with others and some stories, so here is a “larl bit more abut Wilk”.

“Wilk” or John William Wilkinson was born, lived and died in Brigham in Keswick. He was born in 1906 and on leaving school started work at a bobbin mill and then became a fitter for the Keswick Gas Company. In 1954 with his wife Mary he opened a shop in the front room of his house Greta Cottage. His cartoons of local people especially hunting and trail hound followers are very collectable.

Cumberland and Westmorland Herald
2nd April 2002

Saturday, 20 April 2002
“WILK” CARTOON TOPS £1,000 FOR FIRST TIME

PAINTINGS found in the back of a wardrobe at an unoccupied house at Keswick generated keen interest when they came under the auctioneer’s hammer while a cartoon by former town artist “Wilk” topped £1,000 for the first time.

The record-making “Wilk” depicted famed Blencathra huntsman the late Johnnie Richardson, with hounds and terriers on a snow-covered fell.
Indeed, five works by the late Keswick cartoonist Bill Wilkinson featured in the quarterly catalogue sale of antiques and collectors’ items conducted by Penrith Farmers’ and Kidd’s.

The following story was sent to me by a lady, and the story give some idea of “Wilk’s” talent. It was accompanied by a copy of the picture she refers to (see below).

“I have in my possession a fine Wilk caricature it is unusual as it features two ladies both called Elsie, & Billy did not usually feature women in his work. I knew Billy briefly when my husband & I were tenants of The Twa Dogs inn during 1976-79 & remember him as a very nice man. He presented us with the picture after watching the two Elsie’s who were friends & neighbours living in the cottages next to the pub. Billy lived opposite, as you will know. The larger Elsie had a regular visit to the hospital outpatient dept & can be seen getting into the ambulance helped by the smaller Elsie. I’m sorry I cannot remember either of these ladies last names but were both from Keswick & lived there all their lives. I do however remember the third person in the picture, a real character, his name was Jimmy Matthieson, he also lived in the cottages beside the Elsies. He is walking with his bike which he used as a walking frame as he was too old to ride on it even back then, alongside is his Jack Russell dog with my own dog a German shepherd watching on. It really is an interesting picture featuring three real characters of the time that I remember fondly. The larger Elsie had a liking for her baubles, earrings bracelets etc, which are captured to great effect in the scene.”

 

Two elsies and Jimmy Matthison

In "Twa Dogs" 60 years

In "Twa Dogs" 60 years

The “Twa Dogs” pub in Keswick has a good number of “Wilk” cartoons on display if you're passing and it’s a good pint as well

http://www.twadogs.co.uk/home.htm

Update September 2010 - Yet More Wilk!

"Hello there

I saw your article on Wilk the cartoonist and thought you might be interested in a couple of snippets I have. As a youngster of around maybe 9 years I was a regular visitor to Wilk’s shop at the end of Brigham row, I used to visit my old grandfather who lived on the row, he was called Jim Mattinson it was he who featured in the background on the 2 old ladies cartoon, he used to do a paper round right up until his final days although he could barely walk. The old jack Russell called Cassey used to tug him along on his old bike delivering the Evening News. After Jim died we took Cassey lovely old dog. Old Jim used to send me to Wilk’s shop for odds and ends several times a week, we used to go in as kids and Wilk used to draw a picture on a sweet bag it could have been anything from one of his characters to a crumb on the counter, whoever guessed what it was first was usually the winner of a black jack sweet which were 4 for an old penny at the time, we often spent ages in there whilst old Wilk entertained us with his drawings, usually getting a roasting off Granda when I eventually got back with his tea or whatever for taking so long. Great memories. Wilk also did one of my uncle Jim who lived on Latrigg Close just up the road, he was old Jim’s son. The cartoon was a picture of him walking his whippets, which he used to walk many miles with every night; Uncle Jim was also a great character with his enormous handlebar moustache. They used to call him the Major; I have a perfect colour copy of this given to me by uncle Jim. Wilk also painted uncle Jim’s son who following the family tradition is also a bit of a character, he is Eric Mattinson or known by all as Popeye. This picture featured Popeye and his mate John Dennison (Shape) on pops old BSA motorbike it was titled Twa dogs Warlicks, Hope this has been of interest to you.

Alan. 18/08/2010"

"Hope this is ok for you, it is of Jim Mattinson, son of old Jim Mattinson in the background of the 2 Elsie’s, and father of Popeye, (remember the Twa dogs Warlicks) he was a well known character around the town. All 3 generations captured by Wilk. Must be a family of characters. 

Alan 20/08/2010"

Uncle Jimmy with whippets

And two more by Wilk that came my way, both with a hunting theme.

Albert Benson and the Windermere Harriers

Albert Benson and the Windermere Harriers by Wilk

Albert Benson and the Windermere Harriers

Albert Benson and the Windermere Harriers

Mrs Tudor of Blencarn, 1989

'Any chance of a lift to Greystick Parks?' Mrs Tudor of Blencarn, 1989

NB. Some of the following images have been photographed behind glass and so the camera flash is visible.

George Graham

George Graham

George Graham and a Follower

George Graham and a Follower

Sir Percy Hope

Sir Percy Hope

Wha's Terrier Dist'a Put In?

Wha's Terrier Dist'a Put In?

When the Moon Comes over the Mountain

When the Moon Comes over the Mountain

Untitled

Believe it or not it happened at Grasmere Believe it or not it happened at Grasmere

Thanks to those people who sent pictures, especially Brenda and Margaret.

Update September 2010

 A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

Untitled

Major Phil Davidson

Major Phil Davidson

Opening Meet

Opening Meet

Paddy Waters

Paddy Waters

Douglas Paisley, MFH Blencathra

Douglas Paisley, MFH Blencathra

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Ernie Parker by Wilk

Ernie Parker by Wilk

Untitled

Update April 2015

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Anthony Chapman & Johnnie Richardson

Anthony Chapman & Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Johnnie Richardson

Joe Wear

Joe Wear

divider
  waf Website manager

Unless stated otherwise all images and text on this site are copyright of the owner and may not be reproduced without permission.
Site created: 20.04.08 © Cumbrian Lad 2008-2017. All rights reserved   Email me