Art by R.J Cook

Under The Bridge January 18th 2021

Living by the waterside , Aylesbury Canal October 2020

Under the bridge where the water flows past

Is a man in a bed who is free at last.

He lived in this place in his ragged clothes

When people went by they turned up their nose.

He had no TV or internet connection

He had no means to vote in the election.

Pictures in his head while he froze in the Cold

Wondering how he lived to be so old.

Down in the town he would beg for food

Eating scraps improved his mood.

His water came from the mouldering canal

This was his world, a private hell.

How did he get here, did he come by boat

How come his life just didn’t float.

It did for a while, he had a house

There he lived like a little mouse.

Lost his job at the stroke of a pen

Man in the office said he didn’t need men.

The world was changing, all re arranged

It helped you survive if you were deranged.

His wife went to work and he lost her approval

She called the police who sorted his removal.

She said he had started speaking out of turn

Not good enough now he couldn’t earn.

She had a job at the local bank

Then ran off with a very rich Yank.

She took him to court for his abuse

When truth be told he was no more use.

She copped the lot of his life time achievement

So off he walked with his bereavement

All squeezed into two battered cases,

He was just another loser in the human races.

Robert Cook January 18th 2021

Never Stop – by Robert Cook

Robert Cook 1980. Image Appledene Photographics Archive

Never Stop – by Robert Cook

Helen , Barbara and You

Three loves that were true

I see them all in all their glory

Each one had their very own story.

Helen was a girl way too pretty

Lived in the north of my favourite city

Way to young for a fool like me

She was the one I shouldn’t see.

Barbara was mature and sophisticated

She was the one I loved and hated

Way to cool and smart for me

Though maybe not, just couldn’t see

Then along came you to my desolation

Way to close like my relation

Still I muse but cannot say

Were you night, or were you day ?

I never knew, there was no chance

We didn’t walk & didn’t dance.

We played our music, sang our song

We loved a while but not for long.

Life is short, we made it shorter

Were you my love or long lost daughter ?

When we singers sing and write

We play with dark, we play with light.

We take the world that gives us pain

If we were normal we’d be insane.

All these things are as they are

Sometimes near or way too far.

As they say, you can’t return

You can’t pay if you don’t earn

Earning love is is earning pain

Mainly loss for little gain .

The world for me was once elastic,

Now all things melt like cheap plastic.

We find ourselves through mainstream media

Love is lost, its all much seedier.

Still old friends where ever now

Just accept it all, don’t ask how.

Keep on moving till you drop.

Keep on hoping, never stop.

Robert Cook  January 19th 2021

Imagine the sound, London Underground 2010.

I spent a lot of time involved in West End theatre land 2010-17. I looked back and caught this image late at night returning to then home in North London. I call it ‘Human Theatre’.
I found this old sketch in an old envelope, drawn by me in 1981.
The first tractor I ever saw was a Fordson, when I was a little boy growing up in Sheep Street Winslow. It belonged to McQuorodales who owned Winslow Hall, a few doors up from our house. It was fueled by tractor vapourisng oil ( TVO ) and driven by the farm manager, a grumpy Mr Jack Hone who also used to live in Sheep Street. TVO created a big blue cloud of smoke as Jack floored the straining rumbling engine up to about 12 mph up School Hill in our street.

If he saw us kinds in his fields, over the wall behind our little house, he would run after us waving his stick. His daughter Elsie was one of my mum’s playates in the 1920 and 30s. Mrs Hone was a very precise woman, always immaculately dressed and her hair done nicely.

The first vehicle I ever drove was a Massey Ferguson 35 tractor when I started working on Shipton Farm, aged 13. I was pulling a trailer loaded with the old cubic rectangle shaped bales. They were hell to load on the trailer, late on a summer night when the dew had come down. But mother needed the money and we country boys were raised to be in harmony with nature and struggle. Boys would never get that sort of experience now in a fake disineguous health and safety mad ( sic ) world.

I painted this picture yesterday whilst also watching the film ‘Hanah’. It is influenced by my memories of old Winslow and Jack Hone. His fields are now full of houses and McQuoradale long gone.
R.J Cook October 12th 2020
This is a very old and faded picture, painted by me in 1969. I have always had an interest in buses, the history and engineering. It comes from my London roots and so much time spent there in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The 1950s were my childhood days, and I particularly liked the trolley buses.

AEC were the original London bus builders, ultimately ruined when Leyland got a foot in the door helping to build RTs to make up for wartime losses. Their version was called the RTL, easily distinguised by the radiator which did not have the split trim and triangualar red and blue AEC badge.

This picture is meant to represent AEC Bridgemaster 6116BH, number 3 in the Aylesbury ‘Red Rover ‘ fleet, parked up opposite the company offices in Aylesbury’s Buckingham Road before the demolition man changed the landscape.

The Bridgemaster was not a popular design, with very bouncy air suspension among other faults. It was intended to compete with the National Bus Company’s Bristol Lodekka in areas where there were low bridges, hence the type’s name .
R.J Cook
I drew this in 1973, while studying at the Univrsity of East Anglai, it is entitled ‘Fear.’ R,J Cook
‘Female Nude’ by R.J Cook, Norwich 1973
An old friend from 1974
‘The Artist on his way to work’ a copy of a Van Gocgh by R.J Cook 1965
Derelict WinslowRailway Station by R,J Cook 1982
‘Climate Change- Horn St Winslow Bucks’ a water colour by R.J Cook 2019
‘Sheep Street Winslow’ I was born in a house at the bottom of this Hill, called ‘School Hill’ Painting in watercolour by R.J Cook
Bed Sit Girl in Lockdown’
‘A water colour monochrome by R.J Cook