Vera Morrison's memories from Portslade WRVS

Illustration in the 1930s - London

By Nicola Benge

Photo:Vera and others in a Portslade reminiscence activity

Vera and others in a Portslade reminiscence activity

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Tom and Vera

Tom and Vera

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Vera, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove and Nicola Benge - Project Coordinator

Vera, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove and Nicola Benge - Project Coordinator

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Good at drawing

I was born in 1923. And I was always good at art. I wanted to be in the cartoon business, and I was lucky enough to get a place at an art college, then to get a job with Anson Dyer, the animation expert who had been trained himself by Walt Disney.

No wobble

I was training to be an engineering tracer. Everything was drawn by hand in those days. And it was a precise skill. You had to have a black line round everything on the cartoon. And that black line had to be true... if it wobbled then the animation would show it, and you had to back to the drawing board!

Moving in with the maestro

When the war broke out in 1939, Anson Dyer, who was then quite old, invited me to go to live in his house, to get me out of the East End of London. So there were, me, his secretary and him. His secretary used to all the cooking, and we used to go in to the studios every day in this beautiful Rolls Royce.

I never realised. But he was carrying on with that secretary. I remember another person at the studios saying, "didn't you realise?!"

I felt very silly. But he was always very nice to me. Nothing silly like that. He was old.

Moving out of London

He moved out of the London area later in the war, to Stroud. There, we were based in a wonderful old abbey for the duration of the war. Or else he'd have had to close down, you see.

I was the talk of the town back then. A different man every day! There was a RAF station just up the road, all nice lads they were. One day one of them said he'd be taking me out in his car. Well, that was something special! I told everyone, and when it was time for him to come, they were all hanging out of the top windows waiting to see this car.

Well. When it arrived, I nearly died. Rattling, and banging it was, a real old crock! I remember I had to stand on the framework of the car and when I sat down I had to put my feet on the framework or my feet would have been on the road!!!

This page was added by Nicola Benge on 17/01/2008.

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