Wednesday, 16 November 2011

portraits on the tube

This story begins in 1996. On a tube journey home from work I was, as usual engrossed in a good book. As I went to get off at my stop a guy persistently pushed something into my hand, I snarled a little but took it from him. 
Once I was off the tube I looked at what he'd given me. It was a sketch, of me. I did of course want to get back on a talk to him, but the doors closed and he was gone. If I remember correctly he had long dreadlocks and a calm and friendly demeanour.

Many years later Mr and I were going through some stuff and I came across a portrait of him too. His was done in 1988, a few years before we met. Mr remembers the chap and had noticed that he was watching him and thought he was writing something down, the guy handed the picture to him before he got off the tube.

For years I have wondered about this man, does he still do this, does he do it all the time, who is he? Today I asked the question and sent an e-mail to Robert Elms on his BBC London radio show, if you've ever lived or worked in London you might of heard his show, on a Wednesday there is a Notes and Queries slot, you ring in with a question about London, however obscure and someone answers it. 

I thought we would get some answers, a few people rang in who had also had their portrait drawn but not that many and nothing about the guy himself. So I'm asking you! If you have ever visited, worked in or lived in London were you sketched by a black guy, whose name is either H or A Govindeer? 

It would be fantastic to get a collection of photos of his work together, if you have a portrait of yourself send me a picture, tell me your story. Don't worry if you don't blog I will write a post and put it up on here. Ask your friends, maybe they have one lurking in a draw somewhere too. And if you know the man himself, even better!

E-mail me - colette (dot) moscrop (at) ntlworld (dot) com

You can listen again to the show here, (Mr is on just after 1pm) this is available for the next 7 days or see the story on facebook here.

I love these pictures, I have been saying for ages we should get them framed and on the wall. Now seems like the perfect time.


  1. Brilliant, really enjoyed the show, wish I had one of these. Good luck with the search. xx

  2. Such an interesting story and what a coincidence that both you and your other half were sketched! I think this is the sort of story that 'The One Show' could feature - it would surely be possible for them to track down this generous artist and other people who have been immortalised by him. Good luck with your hunt to learn more.

  3. Wow, what a story and what a mystery! And you both having been sketched is amazing! Great reminder, also, that the tube is not always all bad...

  4. Ooh, I love a good mystery. I have spent time in London, but never met Mr Govindeer. Good luck with your search.

  5. wow! What a fascinating story and an incredible guy. Love the intertwining of him mixed in with you AND your husband...really intrigued to find out more x

  6. Great story - the power of the Internet/blogging etc will surely track him down. Good luck with it.

  7. How intriguing!! London is full of fascinating stories - one of the reasons I loved living there so much.

    Sadly I haven't heard of him but artists as fast and clever as that often work at markets too. Maybe he also hangs out at Camden?

    I'll look forward to the next installment - go get 'um Sherlock! ; )

    ps. Thanks for your lovely comment Colette - made my day. x

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  9. I have just come across your blog whilst searching for this same artist, who sketched my children in April 2017. Such a lovely man, I would love to be able to thank him again.

  10. I was sketched in 92 in hamleys oxford street with my three best friends we still have all four sketches my mum found mine today brings back some memories


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