ANDY CAPP

Reg Smythe at work.

An exhibition which celebrates the life and work of the man behind the internationally popular and long-running cartoon Andy Capp is coming to Hartlepool next month. The free exhibition opens on Saturday,  3rd June at the Museum of Hartlepool – coincides with both the 60th anniversary of the first publication of Andy Capp in the Northern edition of the Daily Mirror, as well as what would have been cartoonist Reg Smythe’s 100th birthday. ‘60 years of Andy Capp’ will tell the story of Smythe, who was born in Hartlepool in 1917, his relationship with the town and the evolution of Andy Capp over its 60 year history. The work-shy, working class character Andy Capp was a world-wide hit and at the time of Smythe’s death in 1998 was syndicated to 1,700 newspapers in 52 different countries and read by 250 million people globally. Many of the objects on display at the exhibition have been kindly donated to the Hartlepool Council operated museum by Smythe’s family. Now for the first time since the donation, the public will have the chance to see his pre-Andy artwork, drawing equipment and family photographs which give a rare glimpse into Smythe’s life growing up in Hartlepool. 

Two of the latest photographs of Andy Capp taken on May 18th, 2017 draped in colourful flowers with this message: Brought to you by the Heugh Yarners - Spreading Smiles and Hope xxx. They say find out what we’re up to on Facebook - Heugh Yarners in the Community.

Someone must have thought it was rather chilly round the seafront during early April 2016 so they decided to wrap Andy up in a couple of scarves - and colourful they are, too!

A very popular tourist attraction is the Andy Capp statue. It is situated next to the Pot House public house in Croft Terrace, Hartlepool, and looks out towards the Pilot's Pier and Hartlepool Bay.

Beer in hand and the summer flowers are in bloom.

...and yet more flowers on a summer's day in town.

At the base of the statue there's a plaque which reads "Andy Capp Created by Reg Smythe." You can see a full size photograph of the plaque by clicking on the image in the right hand column.

Andy with a backdrop of flowers overlooks the bay in Hartlepool.

I once saw, on another website, that someone had taken a photograph of the Andy Capp statue from behind. So thanks to that person for giving me the idea to do the same. Here, Andy overlooks the Town Wall, the Pilot's Pier Lighthouse and Hartlepool Bay. Across the bay is old Middleton and the Marina. In the distance, on the right, you can just see the floodlight pylons at Hartlepool Football Club's Victoria Park and the masts of HMS Trincomalee.

Andy Capp is a popular little man. There might be a pint of beer in his right hand but the cigarettes are long gone!

I bet the gentleman just coming up the steps didn't expect to be on this photograph or, indeed, on my website. I will try to find out who he is and give him a copy of the photograph.

Someone commented about Andy not having his usual cigarette in his mouth. Mrs Smythe said that Reg had stopped smoking and, therefore, had decided to make Andy a non smoker!

This page is dedicated to Reg Smythe July 10, 1917 – June 13, 1998.

The photographs on this page are copyright © to Stan Laundon and must not be used, copied, or reproduced in any way without prior written permission.

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