LETTER: Great response to appeal for artist

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There has been a more than speedy response to my search for the identity of a Buxton artist through the columns of the Buxton Advertiser.

In less than 12 hours, G. White has been identified by Buxton resident Ian White as being his father Geoffrey.

Although it is early days in the full story, Geoffrey White was born on December 13 1920 and died aged 66 in 1986. Ian relates that his father never met his birth father, but he was led to believe that he was a Canadian serviceman billeted in Buxton during World War One.

Buxton was used as a base for Canadian war casualties, due the fact that their hospitals in Kent were within the range of German Zepplins and Buxton had surplus empty hotel accommodation due to the catastrophic decline in tourism.

Geoffrey White was a self taught artist who started life as an electrician, developing into a commercial artist employed by the Central Electricity Board at Electricity Hall, London Road, Buxton.

He designed brochures for conferences and technical drawings of electrical equipment.

When Electricity Hall closed and moved to Manchester, Geoffrey moved home to Didsbury, relocating back to Buxton on retirement.

During World War Two he had served in London with the “Searchlight Squad.”

Geoffrey was an accomplished musician, playing the role of “ jazz fidler” with a local jazz band in the style of Stephan Grappelli and Max Jaffa.

His musical skill led to an appearance on the TV programme “Opportunity Knocks.”

Ian owns several original pictures painted by his father, together with his jazz violin.

He was aware of the humorous “Buxton Map painting” but never saw it. To remedy the situation a planned meeting is in the offing.

Keith Holford

By email