Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Thelwell's Ponies

Magazine article The Spectator

Culture Notes: Thelwell's Ponies

Article excerpt

Credit: Camilla Swift

'The natural aids to horsemanship are the hands, the legs, the body and the voice.' But a Thelwell pony sometimes required some, er, additional aids. Norman Thelwell's first pony cartoon was published in Punch magazine in 1953 and struck a nerve with readers; so much so that the editor asked Thelwell for a double-page spread of ponies. 'I was appalled. I thought I'd already squeezed the subject dry,' he later recalled. But of course he hadn't, and Penelope and her pony Kipper went on to become his most popular characters.

It may be in pony cartoons that Thelwell found his niche, but he wasn't just a one-trick pony. As Thelwell Country at the St Barbe Museum in Lymington shows (until 14 June), watercolours and social-comment cartoons were a large part of his repertoire, with his much-loved countryside the main theme. …

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