David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

He looks a prat, doesn't he? And he looks as if he knows it, too.

This was Harold Wislon getting his order of the something or other from the Queen that these people award themselves when they've shot their bolt.

I covered some election campaigns in Huyton, his constituency in the 60s. He used to invite the press to his suite at the Adelphi on election night and he could be himself once the campaigning was done. The first thing he'd do was dump his trademark pipe and light up the big Churchillian style cigar he preferred. Wouldn't go down well with the Labour activists, though, hence the charade. Inside the front door of his house near Smith Square, he had a pipe rack. On arrrival home, he's dump the pipe in the rack, take a cigar and light up.

The evenings with him in his suite were very, very, funny. He had a quick, sharp, acerbic wit and loved to deploy it.In what other job could someone like me be in such proximity to the great and good?

One thing makes me squirm still in relation to Wilson. The photographers were following him down from Huyton to London when Arthur Steel got his driver to overtake the Wilson car. He did a shot through the window as he overtook, of an exhausted Wilson asleep, with his head on Mary's shoulder. A touching picture. I didn't even think of doing that. When Arthur's picture appeared, I was mortified. Talk about scooped! The office didn't need to bollock me. I'd given myself a worse going over than anything they could have said.