Tag Archive: Oxford A4 pad

WE remember Edgar Hodges!

St. William’s College, York – Edgar Hodges (Oxford A4 graph paper pad)

It turns out I’m not alone in remembering, admiring and being influenced by the Oxford A4 pad illustrations of Edgar Hodges. When I mentioned it at the latest Inside Out notebook meeting, it turned out that most people there knew the drawings and had no idea who had done them.

And I had a surprise for everyone who remembered them, too: Edgar Hodges has been in touch! He recalls doing the A4 pad illustrations, but says that it was a very short commission – when the company changed the look of their line, they no longer wanted any further illustrations from him. He’s retired, but still paints and draws, and also makes maritime models. He was very gracious in his reply, and I think a little surprised that anyone had bothered to track him down.

So, to wrap up the story so far, here’s another one of Edgar’s great line illustrations from an Oxford graph paper pad.

Who Remembers Edgar Hodges?

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?

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