Wild West nostalgia
Chairman of Seahouses Probus Ian Wilkinson opened the meeting and after telling us that our secretary Fraser Suffield was unable to be present, gave the apologies for absence and told us that there were no birthdays during the month.
Treasurer Forbes Grant gave us a satisfactory report.
We were introduced to Dr Stuart Walton, who gave a talk entitled My Search for a Childhood Collection.
This collection was copies of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Annual, which he had been given at Christmas on his fifth birthday and for about nine or 10 years thereafter.
He confessed to a lifelong fascination with the Wild West, and when he discovered that the annuals had been lost he set about replacing them. He succeeded with the help of eBay at a cost of anything between £1.50 and £75.
These books were published by Boardman, a London publisher, and our speaker was particularly fond of the action art, historical accuracy, geographical and ethnographic detail, fairness to Native Americans and the humour. Much of his delight was due to the illustrations by Denis McLoughlin, many of which were derived from contemporary photographs.
Judging by the reaction of the audience during a troll through the characters in the annual and in many other publications, films and TV shows, most members shared the speaker’s fascination with the Wild West during their childhood.
After an entertaining question and answer session, thanks were given by Tony Willis for a very enjoyable talk, which produced memories for many of us.