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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
Rupert Bear was created Here
The the author and illustrator of Rupert Bear lived here
Location: 58 Cranes Park, KT5 8AS
Description: Alfred Edmeades 'Fred' Bestall, MBE, born in Mandalay, Burma, on the 14 December 1892, was the author and illustrator of 'Rupert Bear' for the London Daily Express, from 1935 to 1965.
He won a scholarship to the Birmingham Central School (later College) of Art and later attended the LCC Central School of Arts and Crafts in Camden. He served in World War I in the British Army in 1915 in Flanders, where he transported troops in red, double-decker London buses.
Following the war, Bestall finished his studies at the LCC Central School of Art and was hired to illustrate books by Enid Blyton. He also began doing paintings for The Amalgamated Press and did illustrations for Punch and Tatler, as well as for over 50 books.
In 1935, Bestall was selected to take over the Daily Express's Rupert Bear stories from Mary Tourtel. Bestall improved the stories and plots of Rupert, but more importantly, he created the most beautifully crafted illustrations in the Rupert Bear Annual publications.
Bestall produced his last Rupert story on 22 July 1965. He retired from the Daily Express in July 1965, but continued creating Annual publication covers until 1973.
He lived at this address from 1936 to 1966, a blue plaque marks the spot.
This wonderful artist passed away on the 15 January 1986 in Porthmadog, Wales.