Clarendon Building, etc. – Oxford graph paper pad cover. Illustration by Edgar Hodges.

Who remembers Edgar Hodges?

Who bought pads of Oxford paper in the eighties and nineties? Edgar Hodges was the illustrator whose carefully-rendered line drawings of Oxford colleges and buildings graced the covers. I’ve been trying to track down more information about these illustrations without much luck.

The Oxford pads in question were produced by Hunt & Broadhurst Ltd. One of the then-owners, Charles Broadhurst, was an accomplished amateur artist, and produced a series of pen-and-ink views of Oxford. Charles Broadhurst produced at least one collection of his views of Oxford, reproductions of which are available for sale online. His son, John, told me that when Oxford bought out Hunt & Broadhurst Ltd., they “did not want to use my father’s drawings and commissioned some of their own.” The commission appears to have gone to Edgar Hodges.

I’m pretty sure that the Edgar Hodges who produced these architectural illustrations was the same Edgar Hodges who worked on children’s books and annuals in the 1970s and early 1980s. There’s an interview with him on a Thomas the Tank Engine fan site, and his signature on some of those works is identical to the signature on the Oxford pad covers.

Why all this curiosity about Mr. Hodges?

Well, it was his illustrations on those pads which first inspired me to start drawing mediaeval timber-framed buildings and which laid the foundations for a career as an archaeological illustrator. As a result, I’ve always wondered about about Edgar Hodges and his work. A few days ago I was clearing out some old papers and came across some of the graph paper pads with his drawings on the covers and started wondering about him again.

So does anyone else out there remember those A4 pad illustrations by Edgar Hodges? Does anyone out there know more about him?