Saturday 29 February 2020


Less than three weeks ago, I posted on Facebook a short slideshow of images of Jago Stone in 1969, 1972, 1976 and 1984 to celebrate the forthcoming publication of Jago's biography on Thursday in the UK.

Jago in 1969 - a 'still' from Harlech TV interview - Monksilver, Exmoor 

Among the comments that were left was this one with a RAF/USAF Upper Heyford connection from Karen McNulty Bussa in the USA:

'Here's a photo of one of Jago's paintings that I recently told you about'.

Karen had left a comment a month or two previously on another American Connection blogpost but I hadn't been able to make further contact. Now I was looking at the fruit that I had missed before.

The English Village - Jago Stone (c.1987) - Karen McNulty Bussa Collection

I replied straightaway:

'Thanks so much for this image, Karen - I think this is a painting not a print - am I right? Can you let me know the date? …. This is a real find! In the biography, you will find a couple of similar images, one a painting, the other a print.

Here they are - with their stories:

The English Village - Jago Stone (1986) - Pue Family Collection

Jessica Raber, the American artist, and her mother, Dianna Pue, made this image of 'The English Village' available to me. Dianna and her husband, Howard, were stationed at Upper Heyford during the 1980s. Jessica was 5 years-old when she met Jago who had been commissioned by her parents to paint their home in Bicester in 1984. Jago depicted Jessica in the downstairs window:

Number Seven, Blencowe Close - RAF Bicester, Oxfordshire - Jago Stone (1984) - Pue Family Collection

This image of a typical English village below is now part of our collection. It was discovered in a second-hand shop by Anthony Price who later told me about it on Facebook when he came across my Jago webpage. It is a print and declares itself to be print number 25 of a run of 500, but no trace of any others have surfaced - until now.

The English Village Revisited (print) - Jago Stone (undated) 

Karen McNulty Bussa confirmed that her picture was indeed a painting, not a print. She explained that Jago had produced this 'personalized version of his English Village' for her. Very interestingly, she suggested that prints of an original Jago painting of 'The English Village' were being sold at the Upper Heyford holiday bazaar in at least one year, by his wife she thought. Karen suggested at first that this was around 1989 and that her own painting was perhaps 1988. When I pointed out that Jago had died in 1988 and I had found no work later than 1987, Karen revised that dating. She had lived at UH from 1986 to mid-89, so she 'could have gotten this in 1987'. She had met Jago 'at some spouses group function & 'commissioned' this and another water color of the George & Dragon pub. That one is in storage right now. I also have one of the English Village prints sold & that would definitely be winter 1988, now that I think of it.'

Fascinating detail - Jago died on 17 July, 1988, from lung cancer. The painting of the English village that Karen had commissioned Jago to paint would have been one of his last works; I understand that he was already receiving alternative therapies for his lung condition by 1987.

To close this blog-post, I have included some more images in greater detail from Jago's painting of The English Village in the Pue family collection:

Detail from The English Village - The Church - Jago Stone (1986) - Pue Family Collection

Detail from The English Village - The Village Sign and the Village Pub - Jago Stone (1986) - Pue Family Collection   

Detail from The English Village - The Antiques Shop and The Stocks and Pond - Jago Stone (1986) - Pue Family Collection

I hope that this short blogpost may awaken some memories of those Upper Heyford holiday bazaars and, in particular, these prints of 'The English Village'. Do let me know, please - I can see a second edition of the biography being published in a couple of years that incorporates all the new material which is emerging. My email is