1.1 EARLY LIFE
Arthur John Patrick Dooley, was the son of, Arthur John Dooley a soldier & dock labourer and Bessie Dooley (nee: Tompkins). Arthur was born into a Church of England family on the 17 January 1929 at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, Liverpool. It is unknown if he was baptised. He was the first of two children. His sister Doreen was Born in 1932 at 126 Smithdown Rd Liverpool. (Note* This postal address was the premises of The Old Parish Workhouse later called "Smithdown Road Hospital". Thousands of folk were born at that address and thousands more died at the same). Doreen worked as a Cash Clerk and Sunday school teacher.
Times were tough in the early years for Arthur's parents. Aged 22 Bessie fell pregnant. Arthur senior was a fine upstanding man and he would not have hesitated to do the right thing. The loving couple were married at St John the Baptist Church on the 10th October 1928. A mere three months later in January 1929 baby Arthur was born. They first rented a modest terraced house at 23 Greaves Street, Liverpool. 1931 they moved to 31 Enid Street, Liverpool. Come the birth of their second child Doreen they were living at 31 Fairview Place, Liverpool. Very little is known of the Dooley family in this very early period. Although it is known that Arthur started his school life aged 5 at St Paul's C of E, Byles Street,Liverpool. He was in class 6, infants department. The name of his next school was not know but it was reported in the 1971 Birmingham Post newspaper that Arthur attended a local Elementary school which provided a basic standard of education for working class children aged from 5 to 14. It is also known that Arthur joined the Army Cadet's for a period of two and a half years.
In 1939 Aged 10 he and his sister Doreen were evacuated to Chester during the war. Arthur was Billetted into a posh family home and attended Cherry Grove School, Chester. After several months, brother & sister returned to their family home in Liverpool. The time away had given Arthur a "well to do vocabulary". It was one evening sat at the table having their evening meal that Arthur turned to his mother and said "May I have more beans mother" The family found it highly amusing, much to the dismay of Arthur.
Aged 14 Arthur left school. He drifted into a series of dead end jobs. During the war he worked in an aircraft factory, afterwards he worked on the Mersey tugboats as a deckhand. He liked the job and thought it was a good way of life but eventually he was made redundant. He got a further job as a welder at Camell Laird' shipyard, Birkenhead, where he helped build the now "decommissioned" HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier. The shipyard was Arthur's training ground, the true place of his teaching. It is where he was taught about metals, fabricating and building. The working class men he worked with were his inspiration, his foundation, they were everything he would stand for in life. Arthur's career was cut short, once again he was made redundant. Aged 16 he found himself wandering Liverpool looking for work. He just couldn't get a job anywhere. So on the 24th September 1945 he enlisted as a Piper in the Irish Guards for a total period of 12 years. He was to say that he had signed his life away. On his application form 271B he was asked to list his profession, he answered "Tramp". He served in Europe and the Middle East, places like Tripoli, Palestine and Egypt. On impulse he went AWOL, "allegedly" stole a tank and joined the (pre-terrorist) Palestine Liberation Organisation as a mercenary - all without harbouring the slightest animosity against Israel or the Jews. Eventually he was caught and returned to the army. He stood trial and was sentenced to 3 years in a British Army detention centre out in Moascar, Egypt.
Whilst serving his sentence he volunteered and was given the job as a boot repairer, the trouble was he simply could not repair boots. In order to pass the time he found that he was able to sculpt in sand and rock. This would have influenced and guided his thoughts. He knew he was capable, he had a purpose, a skill. The prison staff took note, and with the help of his newly found talent Arthur eventually got out after 8 or 9 months due to good behaviour. He was then posted to Tripoli, then afterwards Chelsea barracks, London. During his years of army service he was trained as a bagpiper and was often placed at the head of the kilted pipe-band. Once again Arthur landed himself in trouble. He led the band through an underground toilet. This I believe earned Arthur another stint in the glass house.
(Arthur in centre, on bagpipes)
Due to Arthur being placed at Chelsea Barracks he soon found himself working at Buckingham Palace. On occasions he was seen at the changing of the guard Ceremony. Considering Arthur's dislike for army life he eventually found himself earning the rank of Sergeant. He would even become the regimental light heavyweight boxing champion. It was whilst he was in the army that Dooley met the person who was to have the biggest influence on his life "Father Michael Casey". He introduced Arthur to the Catholic church's social teaching. This got Arthur really interested in social problems and later Communism. He thought both had similarities. An action of Father Casey would have a lasting impression upon Dooley. Casey only had a few years left before his pension. An appeal went out for priest's to go to Wanokom, Nigeria. He simply resigned as an Army Chaplain and threw away his pension, all to run a leper colony. Before going to Africa Father Casey received Dooley into the Catholic church. Arthur went the whole hog, bought the lot, lock stock & barrel. But later came the inner conflict between his new faith and his Communism. The army was definitely not for Arthur and in 1953 after serving 9 years he decides to buy himself out.
On leaving the army, Arthur went to London and began working as a labourer in breweries in Whitechapel and as a Wagon Sheeter in a goods yard situated on commercial road, Whitechapel. His interest in art led him to attending night classes at Toynbee Hall, London. He studied a variety of subjects, ranging from music appreciation to philosophy.
In 1954 aged around 25 Dooley went to work as a £3.10 a week janitor at St Martin's School of Art, London. He purposely sought this job in order to spend time in an art school. This menial job changed his life forever. It was there that he first came into contact with the contemporary art scene. He said, " he knew he could become a sculptor because he knew he could do better than the pupils at the school". Arthur started by picking up the pieces of scrap lead discarded by the students. He would melt the scraps down and form his models. His intelligence and creative ability clearly showed. Whilst all other students are going through the set process of academic life Arthur was obtaining his own personal free tuition. He would have watched, listened and questioned. In addition he was drawing a regular wage. One of the teachers at the school at the time was Dame Elizabeth Frink. She was teaching at St Martins in order to fund her own work. Ironically both Frink & Arthur would have their final installations placed at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. Arthur eventually took to sculpting in metal and in 1962 was given his very own one man show at St Martins.
In 1955 after just 12 months at St Martins Arthur returned to his native Liverpool to start his life as a sculptor He was penniless and drew his one and only weeks dole He found a room in a printing works. In one corner he started sculpting and in the other he slept in a camp bed. In order to pay the 25s a week rent and to keep himself alive he did odd jobs around the city. He was able to get a job as a stage-hand at the Liverpool Playhouse also as a Park Policeman in Sefton Park.
(Picture supplied by the Liverpool Parks Police website)
Patrick Delaney the doorman- cum bouncer at the Cavern Club, remembers Arthur from the time they were in the Parks Police together. Delaney said that Arthur would whittle away on boulders in the headquarters on night duty. In the morning the place would be covered with dust. "He said", Everyone knew then that Arthur was an artist. Arthur's section sergeant's were Arthur Gooch & John Capstick. Arthur worked out of the Park Police Office in Iddotson Lane in Sefton Park. He worked alongside another great Liverpool character, Park Constable "Big bad Bill" Riley as he was called by his police mates who was a very gifted writer and poet. Unfortunately the Police job didn't last. Soon after Arthur would find further work as a Carbon Loader, rubber moulder at Dunlop's factory in Speke, Liverpool. The work was hard, physical and monotonous it required very little creativity and Arthur hated it.
Alan Williams, Alans wife, Lord Woodbine, The Jacaranda, Slater Street, Liverpool Slater Street, Liverpool
Stuart Suttclife, Paul McCartney, George
Harrison, Pete Best. (John in van)
Around 1956 aged 27-28 Arthur moves into his first Liverpool studio at 17 Slater Street. These premises where ideal for his work. It is here that he is able to freely develop his sculpting techniques. It was at this time that Arthur became good friends with Alan & Beryl Williams the owners of the Jacaranda coffee bar. The bar was situated next door but one. Arthur would always call in for a drink, a bite to eat and a chat. What nobody knew at that time was that Alan & the Jacaranda would become world famous. Alan would become the Beatles very first Manager cum booking agent. It is Alan who would establish the Beatles into Hamburg, Germany. The Jacaranda would host the Beatles on several occasions. Early 1957 Arthur finishes at Dunlop's Tyre factory and moves premises to 58 Huskisson Street, Liverpool. His live- in landlord & landlady were Alan & Beryl Williams.
During 1957/1958/1959 Arthur worked as a cleaner at the Liverpool College of art, Hope Street. It is here that Arthur would start to prove himself .He would have shown that he "Arthur Dooley" the poor working class man was more than capable of producing better art than any formally trained pupil.It was at the Art College that Arthur met an art Lecturer named "Arthur Ballard". (John Lennon & Stuart Sutcliffe's former Art Teacher). Ballard was old school, he strongly believed that artists had to be formerly trained in their profession. Dooley's views differed. Being a self taught artist he believed that Content and spirit was a natural gift and could not be taught and with practice came form and style. Dooley would say, "What has become of the thousands of art students over the past 20 years?", they have become sales assistants in shoe shops, Encyclopaedia Salesmen,and Art School teachers. "Not artists". It was at a bar in the Everyman theatre, Liverpool that Dooley & Ballard had a heated debate. They finally came to blows "literally". It was said to have been a good match as both were former boxers. Unfortunately Ballard came off worst. Arthur was certainly no violent man. Apart from his boxing days in the army this was his one and only fight.
It was at the Liverpool College of art that Mrs Isabel Pater Lancucki remembers attending an evening class in life portrait.. She bumped into Arthur cleaning out the sculpture rooms and he was muttering "what a load of crap they produce in there, I could do better myself" "Someone said", "why don't you try your hand at it". His reply was to say "I am experimenting in my back yard with welding metal pieces together and I like my results". (*NOTE: Isabel Pater Lancucki's husband played an extremely important part in Arthur's life)
In order to progress Arthur seeks the help of his Friend and businessman, Alan Williams. In 1960 Alan became Arthur's manager. The contract was verbal only and either party was free to walk away at any given time. It wasn't until 1961 that Alan arranged Arthur's 1st ever exhibition. This was held at Alan's nightclub the "Blue Angel" which was based in , Seel Street, Liverpool. The exhibition was opened by their good friend Alun Owen (1925-1994) Alun was a very successful British television screenwriter.)
In 1962 aged 35 Arthur takes a great leap forward and finally becomes a "professional artist" Around the same time he holds a 2nd exhibition at the same venue as his first. It was at the 2nd exhibition that Arthur sought the help of a local student. This student was none other than Adrian Barber. (Adrian was lead guitarist in the Liverpool quartet "Cass and the Casanovas. In the late1960s, Barber became a successful producer for Atlantic records. He worked with The Beatles, McCartney, Cream, Velvet underground, Aerosmith etc.).
As a publicity stunt Dooley paid Barber to smash up a pre-assembled sculpture whist the press attended the event. It was Alan Williams who tipped off the press that something was going to happen. This was very canny of Dooley & Alan as it got them some needed press coverage. Soon after the 2nd exhibition Arthur received his most important commission "The Stations of the cross". This important commission was offered by the Liverpool Architects Weightman & Bullen, 76 Rodney Street, Liverpool. Luckily for Arthur Sir Henry Moore - British Artist (1898- 1986) had just turned down the commission due to his workload.
(Plans: Dated 02/02/1962).
Stach passed him a copy
of one to follow.
On the 26th September 1962 Arthur gave an estimate of £35.00 to make the sample of station No:12 "The Crucifixion". Two days later the estimate was accepted. When Arthur finished the sample he took it round to Stachs home at 4 Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. (Stu Sutcliffe & John Lennon was living next door at the time). Stach liked the sculpture and showed it to his partners in the office. They all agreed it was just right. The sample was shown to Fr Fitzsimmons & the authorities at Ampleforth. There was an immediate problem. The priest's in charge did not believe it was right for an Agnostic to be sculpting religious subjects. This was soon resolved and on the 19th December 1962 Arthur received the most important piece of news of his career. Stach informed Arthur that he had received the commission to carry out the 14 Stations of the Cross. This was Arthur's first ever commission. In order to celebrate he bought everyone in the El kabala coffee bar a drink.
In addition to the 14 Stations Arthur quoted for designing and constructing the Baptismal Font for St Mary's. Unfortunately the Font commission was given to a further company, but he did receive a further two commissions from the church. A letter dated 14/12/1963 gave authorization for Arthur to make two altar crosses with crucifix figures. One piece for the Chapel of the Holy Souls and the other for the St Benedict Chapel. The estimate given by Arthur was for £40.00 & £50.00. The Holy Souls crucifix was to become the 15th Station. This in itself was an important piece as no other British sculptor had created a 15th station. The message that Arthur wanted to express was bold and significant. "Celebrate and worship life, not death".
Several problems occurred (throughout) the two year work process. On one occasion a disagreement occurred. Arthur wanted to put a CND (Campaign for nuclear disarmament) sign on one of the Roman Soldiers shields. The Priests would not allow this to happen. A compromise was made and Arthur was eventually allowed to place a Spanish coin on the shield with General Franco's head on it. (General Franco was a dictator & fascist) ".
The Stations of the cross were the most remarkable works of contemporary religious art in Britain. The brilliance of his work won him worldwide acclaim & made him internationally famous. His new found fame led him to new social heights, mixing with pop stars, politicians and royalty.
In 1966 a BBC Film called "The Modern Passion was produced at St Mary's which won first prize in its class at the UNDA film festival, Monte Carlo. Arthur was rewarded with the princely sum of 12 guineas and a further 8 guineas when it was repeated in 1967. The Film also gained an award from Italian television producers. (The brilliant music that accompanied the film was called "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" and "Quatre Motets pour un temps de penitence").
The original estimate Arthur gave to produce the 14 stations was £1,200. After several design changes & additions the final invoice dated 30th November 1963 was for £2,550. Based on the average earnings in 2011 the equivalent amount would be around £97,100 (This average earnings Computation is based on "Per Capita GDP") (See Content: No 7 "Short Histories" - 2: St Mary's Church)
In addition to Arthur's natural talents as a sculptor he was also a natural speaker, a raconteur. He was soon drawing the attention of the media. One of his first appearances for the BBC was in 1962 on the "Tonight" programme". The show was presented by Cliff Michelmore (Michelmore covered the Appolo moon Landing", the Investiture of Prince Charles & General elections etc.).It was a "Tonight" researcher named Zanthy Wakefield that got Arthur onto the show. Zanthy went to Arthur's very first London exhibition. She returned to the BBC studio with several pictures of Dooley's works. She said that Arthur was a "Marvellous chap" and that they must have him on the show. She described him as a sort of cultural Brendan Behan. (Brendan Francis Behan 1923- 1964. Irish republican activist, poet, playwright & novelist). Zanthy brought Arthur to the studio that day. He ended up selling six sculptures to Ken Alsop, Zanthy Wakefield, George Melly, Jack Gold & Cliff Michelmore. Arthur went on to the "Tonight" show that very evening. Prior to going on he was given a strict warning "No swearing". He would go on to appear in many more cultural BBC television shows, Radio interviews and films. A number of which are as follows:
|The Eamonn Andrews show||Viewpoint (A modern passion)|
|Line Up||Voice of the North|
|From The North||It's Saturday|
|ATV Today||Nairn's North|
|The World at One||Radio Merseyside|
|Town Planning(I love this dirty Town)||Late Night line Up|
|Abroad with Behan||King For A Day|
|Come Outside and Say That||Ten to Eight|
|Cue For Questions||Seven Days|
|One pair of eyes.||Decisions, Decisions|
|This is Your Life (Recorded 28 January 1970 ).|
In 1963 Arthur took another step forward in order to build his empire. He establishes a new business called "Slater Metals LTD". This new business is operating from his studio at 17 Slater St, Liverpool. The new venture is set up to supply metals but crucially to supply himself with a cheaper product for his sculpting works. It is believed that the new venture lasted all but 12 months.
Throughout 1964 Arthur has significant offers pouring in for commissions and is kept extremely busy. The money starts rolling in and Arthur treats himself to a Cheque book Alan Williams says that Arthur went mad writing cheques he would write a cheque for anything even a cup of coffee. Things were going well for a time but unfortunately Arthur hit a problem. His foundry George Bagnall & Co Ltd, Webber Rd, Kirkby was to busy to cope. Part of the problem was that Bagnalls would charge Arthur only £6 to roughly cut out the pattern from a block of bronze. Most other Foundry's would be charging around £200. This was a significant difference. The difference in quality was also significant. Bagnalls was merely an industrial foundry which was set up to cast lamp posts, grids etc., certainly not fine art. Arthur would have to put in some hard graft in order to gain a finely polished sculpture. The low price allowed Arthur to forward masses of work to Bagnall's. It was just to much and the foundry could not keep up. Arthur was left in a very awkward position, "no sculptures, no income".
In September 1964 Arthur is seeking to extend his bank loan from the Westminster Bank in order to set up his own foundry. Unfortunately the bank Manager would not extend the loan. A friend of Arthur's Mr R. Mason stepped in to help. Mr Mason fully funded the set up of the foundry in return for a 20% share of the business. Arthur sets about looking for suitable premises for the foundry. Arrangements are made to view 56/58 Seel Street, Liverpool. He rejects the premises, probably due to cost. The foundry was eventually built in the basement of his rented accommodation at Huskinson Street.
On the 6th of October Arthur is in the process of casting in his newly built foundry. This served its purpose well for a very short period of time. According to Alan Williams, the foundry lasted all of one day. Alan said that he & Beryl were in bed asleep in the upper private quarters of the building. They were awoken by an awful smell. The lights went on but all they could see was bluish smoke emanating from the floor. Alan was not happy and closed the foundry gates for good. So Alan thought. It appears Arthur continued with the Foundry unbeknown to Alan. In a letter to Cliff Michelmore dated 7th December 1964 Arthur mentioned the Foundry and said "he was set up and coping adequately". It is not known what happened to the partnership between Mr Mason and Arthur.
In December 1964 Arthur receives his company seal, and "A. Dooley Ltd" is born. His Accountants are as follows:
1964 - Vincent Hayes & Co., 86a Bold St, Liverpool.
1966 - Bidston & Co. 83-85 the Albany, Old Hall St, Liverpool.
1968 - G. Humphries, 17 Elgin Drive, Wallasey, Cheshire.
1975 - Duncan Glass & Co, Castle Chambers, 43 Castle St, Liverpool.
There now comes a new and fairly lucrative sideline for Arthur. He finds himself in demand as a guest speaker at private functions and as a University Lecturer. From School children to Professors, they would all listen. What Arthur had to say was worth listening to. He was bold, dynamic and to the point. He would always leave his audience with a fresh perspective of the subject matter.
There was another person who demanded Arthur's attention, his live in girlfriend Jean Lesley Atkinson. A naturally beautiful woman. Dark hair, slim figure and a mere 14 years younger than Arthur. She proved irresistible, and so on the 2nd July 1965 they would marry at the "Liverpool Register Office". On the day of the wedding Arthur turned up without a tie. His good friend Alan gave him a stern talking to and lent him his. Several months later, and without warning Arthur and Jean are evicted from Huskisson Street. Arthur's unconventional working hours have taken its toll on the neighbours. It was 4:00 am and he was still working. A neighbour starts taking pot shots at the windows with an air gun. It was too much for one tenant named Gillian. She makes a complaint to Allan and soon after Arthur & Linda are out. Despite being evicted they all remain best of friends. In no time at all they are soon renting a three storey terraced shop at Upper Duke Street, Liverpool. This shop was once a former Chinese laundry. The shop window was sprayed with metallic paint to stop people looking in and the door with a rusty sheet of metal screwed to it gives the appearance of an abandoned armoured car. A card in the window instructs visitors to ring a number miles away in another part of the city. Arthur lived in the uppermost rooms & worked in the lower sections of the shop. He briefly shared the premises with other communist party members.
(The Upper Duke St shop was eventually demolished and in 1992 the Dean Walters Building was built on the site).
October 1966 shortly after an arts festival at Whitworth Secondary school in Lancashire The Headmaster & later School Inspector, Jack Featherstone gave Dooley a temporary job as a teacher. Mr Featherstone had a lively interest in curriculum experiments. The pupils were in their final year and had no interest in school nor taking examinations. They found Arthur's unorthodox teaching methods a breath of fresh air. They were so enthusiastic about working with Arthur that they were willing to give up 12 days of their school holidays in order to complete their work, often working till midnight. One lad named "Noel Speak" had rarely been praised in his school life and had few commendations. He said that he found his sculptures brought him luck. Noel's sculpture was shown on television and he was offered £40.00 for it. Arthur said he was thrilled with the children's work. They were given the chance to think, analyse and reach their own conclusions. The work the children made was a metal industrial scene, a Penny Farthing bike and a girl in a mini skirt with washers as breasts, along with other pieces. Their work was shown at two exhibitions. One at Dublin, the other at the Liverpool Bluecoat chambers Forecourt. A total of nine children exhibited. Two girls & seven boys. Word had got around as regards Arthur's teaching abilities and in 1968 a once in a lifetime opportunity arises. Arthur is offered a teaching job in Cuba. The job was to teach art for a period of 12 months. Arthur and Jean both agree that the move is acceptable and they start making all necessary arrangements. A discussion takes place in relation to the Cuban job on a BBC television programme called "Look North". It was also featured in the national press. Unfortunately a "Cuban Crisis" materializes and the planned move is off.
March 1st 1968. It was reported in the press and television that a group of Merseyside artists were picketing outside the beautiful 18th century Liverpool Bluecoat Chambers building. The picket was in order to complain about the increase in fees for displaying their art. They claim it costs almost £100 to hold a two week exhibition at the Bluecoat, which most of them could not afford. They also claim that many good works of art are rejected by the selection committee. The protest was led by Arthur who had previously set up a committee calling themselves, "The Railings Union". The main aim of the union was to enable the best painters to show off their work. The union consisted of a heterogeneous group of Liverpudlians, among them is a reverend from the local Methodist Church, and an MP. The union actually succeeded in getting the use of the railings outside the Bluecoat to show paintings twice a week, free of charge. Arthur must have been very pleased. The new facility would have benefited everyone, including the non-cultured.
August 1968 Arthur buys 55 Quarry Street for the price of £4,500. He buys the premises in order to turn part of it into an arts centre. He sets about seeking financial aid in helping progress with the new venture. 23rd April 1969 Liverpool City Council along with the Arts Council of Great Britain approve £250.00 towards the development. He provisionally names the new arts centre, "Set North". The new centre is to give the working class people the opportunity to show their work along with painting & sculpting classes poetry sections, lectures etc. The Dingle secondary modern school gets on-board and allows pupils to be taught at the centre. The members of staff at the centre were Arthur Dooley teaching welding, metal & plastic sculpting and Peter Shaw teaching art. Two more tutors had been invited to join the staff Frank Hendry teaching History and economics. And finally Olga Benjamin from Liverpool University was to give specialist tuition in English. Arthur was determined to gain recognition as a teacher of art but Liverpool education committee would object to Arthur teaching pupils from the Dingle secondary school as he had no formal teaching qualifications. Arthur commented. He said " They are right. The only qualification I have got is a certificate for swimming 50 yards". After several minutes Arthur suddenly recalls, "Oh yes" I also remember receiving a further certificate "for scripture reading at Sunday school". The Education committee eventually decided that Arthur could continue to teach children but without pay. The committee stated that they could run into difficulty from unions if they paid non-qualified staff. As one can well imagine this went down like a lead balloon with Arthur. The money was secondary to the cause and so his teaching continued.
The new Arts Centre would attract a number of Merseyside Working Class Artists and in 1969 "The worker Artist Association" came into being following a meeting of a number of Merseyside artists and Trade Unionists whose sympathies lay with the working class movement and who are concerned at the attitude of the establishment to the artist with a working class background.. The association rejected the class system that barred the man from the factory machine becoming an artist. A number of successful exhibitions were held by the Association, the first being at the new Arts Centre on the 15th June 1969 and a further exhibition at the "House Of Commons" London on the 24th May 1973 . A popular, monthly magazine produced by the association was called "Arts alive- Merseyside". The president for the Association was the very talented Liverpool artist and sculptor Brian Burgess. (Brian's best known work "Christ On A Donkey" stood outside Our Lady and St Nicholas Church, Liverpool. Unfortunately the large fibreglass sculpture no longer exists. A further work of art caused uproar in the 60's. Brian had said that he once painted a picture of the Queen. Not so bad you may think, but she was "naked". Brian said that he was arrested for this illegal act and was ordered to burn the painting. His last exhibition was held at the Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead on the 16th April 2011)
December 18th 1969. Arthur, Brian Burgess & Alan Williams each loan a horse from a local riding school and ride several miles in order to protest outside the Liverpool Walker Art gallery. Part of the protest was in relation to the Biennial art exhibition which was sponsored by the late Sir John Moores. The main prizes in the exhibition had repeatedly gone to London artists. Arthur described them as "the Hampstead mob". It was "The mob"that were producing abstract art at the time. Arthur pointed out that the Walker was not supporting local talent and that in order to display their work, they were having to go to London.. Arthur said that he was therefore campaigning for the setting aside of two rooms at the gallery, in order to display the work of local painters and sculptors. Arthur suggests that a number of groups such as Merseyside workers art association, SLADE, and the Liverpool trades council collectively organise such an exhibition, with the support of the City council. In opposition to the John Moores exhibition, Arthur held his own exhibition at his Black Horse premises which included 200 works by over 50 artists. In order to gain media attention to the campaign, Arthur rode up the steps of the walker Gallery on his horse. All efforts were to no avail, as the Walker Art Gallery would not bow to pressure and refused all requests. Arthur was not deterred. He would continue applying pressure to the gallery. He would later apply for the newly opened position of "Director" for the Walker Gallery. For some unknown reason he was not successful.
Come the end of the 1960's Arthur's creative abilities as regards his sculpting has hit a brick wall. He is seriously struggling for fresh ideas. Things must have been bad as his wife Linda has to take control of the situation. She pays a visit to Arthur's friend, "Brian Burgess". Linda has to beg Brian for help. Her "dogged determination" pays off. Thanks to Brian, Arthur is back on track. One thing that is definitely not on track is "Arthur and Jeans marriage". They have both agreed on a temporary, perhaps permanent separation. Regardless of their problems they still remain good friends. This was to be a sad note to end what was a productive and happy era. Emotional times was soon to come ?.