TV experts focus on Sheffield artist

Margaret Keseen with her father's work
Margaret Keseen with her father's work
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He was the Sheffield pensioner whose paintings captured the glamorous world of 1930s cruising. And now the work of Frank Jones has captured the attention of antiques experts, more than 25 years after his death.

Specialists on the television show Antiques Roadshow asked to see Mr Jones’ pictures after hearing about his work in the 1930s while researching an edition of the programme looking at what they described as ‘the golden age of travel.’

Frank Jones, Sheffield artist

Frank Jones, Sheffield artist

Mr Jones’ daughter, Margaret Kessen, was invited to take part in the programme, where the panel of experts examined and valued the original sketches on which giant posters were based in the 1930s.

Mrs Kessen, aged 79, of Lodge Moor, took examples of his work to show them for the episode, which was filmed on a train pulled by the iconic Doncaster-built steam locomotive, The Flying Scotsman.

She said: “He would have been so proud to have had his artwork recognised like this.

“He loved painting and would have loved to have done it for his work for longer than he did.

“It is recognition that he never received during his lifetime.

“We’re really pleased that his work has been recognised after all this time.”

The show is to be broadcast on BBC One.

Mr Jones worked in the publicity department in Cunard’s Liverpool headquarters for 10 years, until the outbreak of World War Two in 1939. He would design the publicity artwork which went before the company’s board to be given the go-ahead.

Then he would draw and paint the giant 6ft high, 8ft wide advertising posters, often having to use a stepladder.

But his job in the department came to an abrupt halt after the war started. The conflict put a stop to cruising, with many boats requisitioned for the war effort.

He was switched back to his earlier job, in the West-bound freight department.

He ended up working for the Cunard firm until his retirement.

He moved to Sheffield in 1982 with wife Hilda to be closer to his family, where he lived on Benty Lane, Crosspool, until his death aged 88 in 1990.

Much of his work had been put on display at the Cunard Building in Liverpool.