As a sixth former doing A Level Zoology I came on a week long course to Flatford in the summer of 1958 staying in Willy Lotts cottage, and going out each day to places like Manningtree mud flats, Glemsford gravel pits, and Shingle Street where we were told about the sea-pea and horned poppy growing on the shingle, and the newly established colony of avocets on Havergate Island nearby. I loved these outings and the evenings spent up in the studio writing up notes and making drawings of specimens brought back. Although I was doing science subjects my real love was art and I much admired the beautiful illustrations being worked on by a lady on a different course, and I told myself that one day I would do something like that.
In 1975 I moved to Colchester and since I was now near Flatford, I joined FSC as a Life Member. Two years later my Father died and my mother Anne Paterson who had always loved drawing decided that she would learn to paint. I suggested that she went on a course at Flatford Mill and she loved the first course she went on with Valerie Thornton, and came back at least once a year on a painting course for the next 17 or so years.
One year we both enrolled on the same course, Mum staying at Flatford and me commuting each day from Colchester and staying to enjoy the excellent company and evening meal.
Mum was 99 last November, she lives in a care home in Tunbridge Wells and still has one of her many painting of Will Lotts in her room. She is still drawing and painting and loves to see news of Flatford and pictures of dear Edward Jackson in the FSC magazines.
My job as a photographic technician at Colchester Art School led to me becoming a print-maker and I took great delight in including horned poppies, sea-kale and sea-peas in one of my lino-cuts of Aldeburgh beach a few years ago.