Guardian Spirit of the East Bank
A Celebration of the life of R. A. Richardson
Published price: £37.00
(includes postage and packing)
can have been few birdwatchers around in the 1950's to the 1970's
who were not familiar with the name of Richard Richardson. For here
was a man who had become a legend in his own lifetime as a result
of his extraordinary skill as a field ornithologist and bird artist.
- Richard Richardson in the 1960's
born in London in 1922 and by the age of seven had already developed
an interest in birds with his earliest surviving sketch of a puffin
dated 1936. Having left school at sixteen he worked in an office
in London but spent most of his free time birdwatching or sketching
in St James Park. He kept diaries of his observations illustrated
with pen and ink drawings.
spell with the Royal Norfolk Regiment, Richard eventually settled
at Cley. No visit to Cley in North Norfolk was complete without
meeting up with him andspending many happy hours in his company.
He established the Cley Bird Observatory and served as its only
warden until it closed in 1963.
as a self taught artist, Richard had been perfecting his skills
at bird illustrations since his teenage years and his pictures appeared
in over twenty books as well as bird reports. His most successful
commission was as the illustrator of the Pocket Guide to British
Birds which was published in 1952 followed two years later by The
Pocket Guide to Nests and Eggs.
- Great Spotted Woodpecker by RAR
has indeed captured all that Richard Richardson meant to so many
people. The tremendous response to his appeal for reminiscences
and information about Richard enabled Moss to tell the story of
this truly remarkable man whose premature death at the age of 55
years left an irreplaceable void in the world of birding. The book
is more than just a biography. There are 190 illustrations and photographs
(over 70 in colour) and include a large number of Richards beautiful
illustrations, extracts from his birding diaries and his wartime
Above - Shorelark by RAR
This book is
full of fascinating and often amusing anecdotes from his many friends
on 'The East Bank' and farther afield including stories of his trips
to Shetland another of his favourite places.
As Robert Gillmore
states in his informative forward 'It is abundantly clear from the
many enthusiastic testimonies in this book that Richard Richardson
had a great and benign influence on generations of birdwarchers....I
am sure this book will be an inspiration to a new generation of
birders, amongst whom are many with a talent for drawing. I hope
they wii be encouraged by Richard's story to develop their own skills.
He would be pleased if it does.'