In these last couple of months I've had a fruitful contact through the medium of Facebook with a toy-bear-maker, Jean Grogan. We share a bond with teddy-bears. Those of you who read my thoughts regularly will be familiar with Peter Ted and his adventures. He's my bear. His partner is Sally Anne; she's Louise's teddy. Here's a link to press for those of you unfamiliar with this interesting side to our life:
Jean, as I say, makes them. Here's her website address:
Jean made contact and began telling her Jago Stone story in early November. Jago, it seemed, used to come 'most days' into the Tea Shop that she and her husband ran in the village of Sedgeberrow near Evesham in Worcestershire.
|The parish church of Sedgeberrow, near Eynsham in Worcestershire.
This is Cotswold territory - and around fifty miles and a hour and a half drive from Hellidon in Northamptonshire where Jago had been loosely based. Quite some distance. The year is 1984. As
Jean gave me more detail in other Facebook messages, I found out that Jago had 'painted quite a lot of houses in Sedgeberrow' and I imagine he was staying in rented accommodation close-by or living in a mobile-home for a couple of weeks before performing the Jago vanishing-trick. Here's Jean's account of what happened:
"I have a painting he did of the shop and a couple of sketches …
Here are those sketches; Jean writes that 'they look like black biro - it's not pencil but doesn't look like pen and ink either':
|The Village Church, Sedgeberrow - Jago Stone (1984)
|The Village Stores, Sedgeberrow - Jago Stone (1984)
'I used to run a catalogue and he bought a coat off me, made one payment and buggered off never to be seen again ha ha. I happened to Google him and I'm thrilled to see your book is due out hopefully next month. Good luck with it. I for one will be purchasing it. Jean."
Thank you, Jean - and, as for Jago, well in the immortal line at the end of the Marilyn Monroe classic 'Some Like It Hot': 'No-one's perfect!'
Jean was gifted an image of a Jago painting commissioned at that time in 1984 from someone in the village and has kindly said I can use it. My thanks to Jean and whoever made the picture available to her. Here it is - a lovely example of the work of a man who had become a master of his trade:
|West End Cottage, Sedgeberrow - From the garden - The Willmott's Home - Jago Stone (1984)
All-in-all, a fascinating glimpse into Jago's life and work.