Mark Elsmore

By markelsmore, Mar 12 2018 08:50PM

I thought I’d share my watercolour of Sir Ken Dodd. It’s a painting from 1997 when he came to Stoke-on-Trent to reopen The Theatre Royal in Hanley. It was a portrait for a London exhibition but was never used and I’ve kept it ever since.


When he returned to The Potteries on his next tour I showed him the painting and he very kindly signed the outer mount -‘Happiness Always, Ken Dodd.’


I called the painting ‘Tattyfilarious!’


He said I’d ‘Caught a moment’, but said that he never wore a double breasted jacket for performances. I explained that it hadn’t been a scheduled show and that it captured his guest appearance at The Royal.

Sadly, Ken passed away on Sunday night, and The Royal closed many years ago. Truly the end of an era.

He leaves so many people with great memories and ‘Happiness Always’.

By markelsmore, Apr 12 2016 07:05AM

It's still Christmas in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It's been Christmas every day for many years. Decorations have been left on a derelict building: Santa has been abandoned, his beard getting greener with each passing year, a neon Merry Christmas sign is only ever illuminated by sunshine. Children may wish it could be Christmas everyday but in North Staffordshire it's ‘Always Christmas in Stoke’.


‘Always Christmas in Stoke’ has been selected for the 204th Annual Exhibition of The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, SW1, from 6th to 16th April, 10am to 5pm.



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