Hessett artist helps pensioners in bare all fight to halt pub closures
Artist Louise Gridley had been working with a male pensioners’ social group for months when they asked her to help them publicise a problem close to her heart.
The result is the most unusual ‘glamour’ calendar ever in which the pensioners pose in little but their caps to ask ‘Where’s my Boozer Gone?’
Louise, who worked at the Bennett Arms in her home village of Rougham as a teenager, had been asking the same question.
She said: “When I was a little girl, I remember the pub seaside outings that the Bennett Arms used to organise. It was a real family affair and was a calendar highlight for old and young alike.
“I remember my mum being part of the ladies darts team, and my dad being part of the quoits team. The pub used to provide a social outlet for the community and offer sporting opportunities and wider social integration with other village communities.
“This is all becoming lost, which is why in my calendar, I wanted to centre the photoshoot concept around the traditional pub games and flag up part of our heritage that we are sadly losing”
Now living in Hessett, she first met The Geezers, an Age UK-supported men’s social group in East London, when she did a painting of them for an exhibition called Misbehaviour, nearly two years ago. The painting can be seen at www.louisegridley.com
When they suggested a calendar, she thought it would be a new challenge in a medium other than paint and pencil. Called The Pun, it features the lads, some in their 80s, nude in their local with Page Three style captions.
It is available in Louise’s brother Darren Old’s pop-up card shop in Cornhill Walk, Bury St edmunds, and on Amazon.