A Jolly Good Chap

STEPHEN WOOD remembers with affection his former art desk college Jim Sillavan who has died of a heart attack aged 63.

I was so distressed to hear about James. I have some splendid memories; and I was on the verge of tracking him down for a get-together. I remember those weird meetings of The Pier at Clapham Common?

I still have the book of his work that he gave me when he left for Paris. Cripes...when was that?

He managed to endear himself to folk of all sots of persuasions. He was as different as you could wish from, say, Dave Marvin who always referred to him in jocular fashion as James Austin Bleedin' Sillavan.

I was once locked out of my Chalk Farm digs on a bitter February night after a 2am finish and, being a bit pissed, didn't fancy riding the big Suzuki all the way back to the Fens. Who could help me out? I went back to the office and called James. No problem; he knocked up a sort of futon out of two pallets and I got a night's kip. Jolly good chap.

© 2005-2019 Alastair McIntyre