An apprentice colourist

Doris Crook (née McCaw) describes her experiences of starting at Bartholomew as an apprentice colourist.



'1960, at the age of 15. That was my first job.

'I didn’t know what I was going into because my uncle was friendly with John Bartholomew and that’s how I got the job. And I was taken into this office and I saw all these other girls sitting with paintbrushes and pens and big sheets of glass, and just thought: "Hell, what do I do? What’s this all about?" And Ida, who was the boss then, she sat me down at a table with the tools, you see — the paintbrushes, the pens and a map of the UK — and she taught you how to draw up to the individual lines that was on the map.

'You always had a glass plate that was called a "practice plate" and, believe it or not, you practised for three years before your work was actually used.

'You had to be very precise with your drawing and filling in between all the contours. You filled in a contour, you left a contour clear, you filled in another contour and gradually you had a positive and a negative from that, which then went on to be used to do your six colours.'

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