« eel pie island photographs | Main | Goodbye to Arthur »

November 30, 2006


rod sawyer

as the first to go to coleg harlech from the island i owe arthur evrything. this changed my life, an academic career leading to assistant principal at bradford college, the biggest in the uk, three degrees, research, now retired to spain, at least moved there, now edit the local newspaper.all from stamping your wrist at arthurs side on the island, him persuading me that harlech would chamge my life!!! it did. Athur who i have kept in tiuch with and hope i have kept the faith, goodbye to the most altruistic persopn i have ever met
rod sawyer


Just read all the nostalgia of 68-69 eelpiers.
I dropped out of RADA after tripping out in the round house dancing to the
Incredible String Band with Peter. We wandered across the Richmond bridge and along the banks of the Thames in an acid haze, to Twickenham. There was a small arched bridge that invited us across to an island.
An old lady held out her palm for coins as we walked off and onto the bird sanctuary called Eel Pie Island. Thus began my life as one of the drop-outs living on eel-pie.
We were in love and dreamily walked on down the path till we arrived at the run down hotel that we never left for a long,long time. We dissapeared into it.
But we found Felix and Loretta and their child with a beautiful mandala painted over his bed. A long white electrical cord with a huge paper globe shielding the bulb hung from the center of the room almost to the floor. This was a very creative room.
Many more come to mind...Colin and Anna,who was painted as the central character holding a baby in Topolsky's large canvas of those times seen in his studio under the arches.They were both earthy and seemed into biodynamic farming.They always had the healthiest meals of simple grains and vegetables, wore colorful knitted clothes,very Waldorfian.
Dave and Johanna,so semetically beautiful her face with masses of curly,long dark brown hair.She wore a long deep blue morrocan robe with red and orange embroidery across the chest and down the arms.Very serious and mysterious.
Gavin Kilty the troubadour with the deepest eyes.
Inge and Helle and the most original swedish hand stiched and dyed clothes.They were good to know and very healing.
Dave Walton,our Gurdieff and Ouspensky source with attempts at Mephistophelian wizardry gathering few. Edgar Cayce and Madame Blavatsky books,magic and his "Aargh,aargh " exclamations as he thoughtfully twiddled his wispy beard,made it always an interesting room to visit.
There was also Scots John and his crowd.
The Hog Farm's Wavy Gravy and his early morning communal dissertations from atop his throne in the bathroom; Sally,whose radiant light and blonde hair a pure pre-raphaelite vision.
Many,many more faces come to mind and I will write it all , as well as what happenned to me since then , and where I am now,
soon and post it.
Goodbye Arthur...and thank you.
May G-d bless you and keep you.

rod sawyer

amazing another rod sawyer! still i predate, lat fifties and early sixties, on the door with arthur stamping wrists, the first of the islanders to go to coleg harlech, owe evrything to arthur, but what happened to kerry, ginge and the rest, habitues of the station hotel at twickers, l'auberge, run by jean thomas, a great place to work, money at watneys in mortlake, reminds me, mort, where are you? we used to work at the warehouse, my god what was itcalled? beer and spirits just down from l'auberge. still if it hadnt been for the island no university, and no becoming one of establishment at NIACE exec! and now? spain and editing a local paper, the island taught me life too short, do it now, try it now, go for it, just as much right as anyone else, arthurs philosophy represnted the best of fifties and the sixties


browsed the site after reading article about the pie in the surrey paper, the photos brought back memories of going to the island in my teens (I am now in my early 60's)and one foggy night slipping and plunging into the water, being pulled out crying shaking and of course soaking wet. I was taken into what I later found oout must have been the hotel or something like it where I was dried out fed hot tea and given a lecture (a sound one) about being careful as I could have drowned messing about in the dark ( worst of all I had to go home and confess to my mum as to where I had gone and who with - oh dear!).

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Eel_pie_island_hotel_l
  • Eel_pie_island_hotel
  • The_boat_yard_1
  • A_eel_pie_hut_2
  • Eel_pei_island_from_the_bridge
  • Bridge_and_eel_pie_and_birds_1
  • A_eel_pie_hut_1
  • The_boat_yard
  • The_bridge_to_eel_pie_island_1
  • The_eel_pie_bird_sanctury_1
  • Bridge1
  • Logo2_1