A Celebration of Giles - Scrapbook
Do you have any memories or stories about Giles ? If so email them to me and I can include them on this page

From : Nick Hiley

I was pleased to find your "Celebration of Giles" web pages, and thought I would write in.

In 2005 the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature was given Carl Giles' entire cartoon archive, including his original drawings and vast correspondence files. He seems to have kept every letter he received, including those from fans, and when I read the story by Andy Marshall, of how he sent Giles a fan letter thirty years ago, I checked the archive. Sure enough, carefully filed away under "Andrew Marshall" is his original fan letter and drawing - which looks better than he remembers - and attached to it is a carbon copy of Giles' friendly reply, dated 25 August 1978.

One of the immediate impressions from looking through Giles' archive is the strong bond he obviously felt with his readers. His wife Joan dealt with his correspondence, and carefully filed it away, but the comment in his letter to Andy Marshall, that "it was very nice of you to write and I wish you success with your cartooning", is typical of his generosity.

And if Richard Batley reads this, I have to say that we also have Giles' library, which probably includes that book by the Czech cartoonist that he lent him in 1983!

With best wishes,

Nick Hiley.

Details of the archive can be found here.

From : Andy Marshal

Dear Sir

I was spending a lunch hour milling through the internet when I found your site. I am a mere 34 years of age but as a child I always read Giles books with total fascination (I have an elderly relative who bought an annual every year from the year dot).

As I grew up I looked for his cartoons in the paper and around 1977/78 (when I was 10)I saw one where a vicar was poking fun at at young chap who after playing Sunday afternoon football had "committed the ultimate sin of scoring in his own goal". I noticed that the view through the pub window showed a couple of cars in the pub car park, but horror of horrors the perspective was all wrong and the car roofs were at far too steep an angle (almost as if they were tipping forwards over their bonnets). I mentioned this to my dad who suggested that I write to Giles and point this out as well as maybe sending him one of my own cartoons.

So I drew a cheesy picture (as only an 10 year old can) of a couple of old chaps (in the style of the master) saying something about Fred leaving his bulldozer running and pushing all the cars onto their noses.

I sent this off to the paper and didn't expect a reply. A few days passed and an envelope arrived with a Daily Express logo stamped on the back (I can still remember the excitement as I tore it open). The contents included a picture cut out of the paper and the car roofs inked in in red biro at the correct perspective, a large business card of the youngest Giles family member sat alongside a chimpanzee both reading Darwin's Origin of Species inscribed to me from himself and lastly a letter apologising for his error and explaining that due to tight deadlines in the publishing business he had indeed made a mistake in with the perspective and finally wished me well in my cartooning career.

I still have the correspondence to this day all mounted and framed on my wall and am still dead chuffed.

Needless to say that my cartoon career didn't take off, but I do still enjoy sketching.

Andy Marshall

(Click here to see the cartoon mentioned above)

From : Richard Batley

A couple of quick Giles stories, some 35 years apart.

When we were kids we used to cycle out from Ipswich to RAF Martlesham Heath (where by a twist of fate I ended up flying from for around six years in the 60's) to watch the experimental aircraft landing and taking off.

Returning home one summer's day we were overtaken by a car that was like something from heaven and which we saw pull in to the little two-pump petrol station a short distance ahead on the A12 at Kesgrave. This incidentally was a typical Giles scene- just the two pumps a wooden hut and gravel. Being only 10 or 11 years old we had to stop and have a look. Boy, were we impressed. The whole front of this immaculate machine-finished in ivory white, split screen and hood down- was plastered with splattered flies. This was in the days when a Morris Eight was as exciting as it normally got in Suffolk.

Of course, it was Carl Giles in his Jag, as the chap on the pumps told us when the car roared off. Many years later, round about 1983, I got into the habit off stopping off at the Woolpack pub in Ipswich after work for a quick drink. I knew that Giles occasionally used the place and one evening ran into him. He was just one of those people you could have a chat with as just another guy in a pub. We got talking about cartooning and I mentioned a book that I had by a Czech cartoonist whose work was very similar to his own. A few nights later I saw him again - and that was the last I ever saw of the book ! But I have never begrudged it.

Out of interest, if you hunt thro' the annual you will find that on least one occasion he used the Woolpack as a setting for a cartoon.

I said two stories but here is a makeweight which will make you tear your hair out, as I did at the time. We were always invited to have a preview of the books of a very large jumble at Grundisburgh, not far from Giles' farm, run by the local scouts for fund raising. This occasion was probably around 1985. We arrived on time and were met by the lady in charge who showed us into the hall which was groaning with books, as was usual each year. After we had finished - a huge job- the lady mentioned that the Cubs had been really helpful as not too many scouts had turned up to help. She went on to tell me that she had given each one of them a pile of old cartoon books to use as colouring books, these having been brought in by a local farmer's wife.( Painful for you to guess what is coming, isn't it?). She mentioned that she and the other helpers had been looking through them and said something on the lines of how interesting the wartime cartoons were. I pumped her, trying not to look too excited or to show that I was on the point of causing her extreme physical violence, and found that the cubs had decamped with a whole set of mint condition annuals, each with a dedication from Giles to his farmer pal. Ain't life cruel? And please believe me, every word the truth.

Copyrights and Disclaimers - Please Read