Biographical notes Wrenford John Thatcher
Born in 1944, Wrenford John Thatcher spent much of his early childhood in hospitals due to ill health. It was here that the inspiration to draw (and to read) was born. In the lean post war years there was little else for a bedridden child to do; so it was that a picture of a battleship, drawn on ruled paper and coloured a hideous yellow, was published in the ‘Nursing Mirror’. The other entries to the competition must have been bad. Perhaps it was the only entry! Nevertheless it started a path which in later years resulted in entries to the BBC television programme ‘Sketch Club’ run by the famous artist Adrian Hill. This was open to ages 8 to 16 , and every entry submitted was shown on television and acclaimed by the great man.
Educated at St Albans County Grammar school, Wrenford was equally successful in the sciences and arts, never failing to come first in the art classes every term; the art teacher Mr Cannell, was furious that his pupil chose to go to London University to read mathematics and physics.
University education continued for another 3 years, during which time he acquired a PhD in physics and later chartered physicist status. This lead to a varied career as a teacher of electronics and then astronomy in Liverpool and St Andrews universities respectively, followed by a long spell in industry working in the printed circuit board industry.
This entailed extensive travelling especially in America and Europe; and the experience of such wonderful sights as the Grand Canyon at sunrise, or even the heavy industry of the Rhur, inspired a great interest in photography and painting.
Throughout these changes, paintings flowed whenever time permitted. Two subjects dominated the interest. Foremost was a love of the steam locomotive, stemming no doubt, from grandfathers who were both engine drivers. The other was the stunning scenery of the west coast of Scotland, and the Hebridean Islands in particular.
Wrenford now works teaching physics in a private school in Norfolk, and is currently writing a biography entitled ‘Caught on Canvas’ and another for publication called ‘Steam Past’.