Cartoonist Ken Wignall leaves a legacy of laughter

Former Lancashire Evening Post studio manager and cartoonist Ken Wignall celebrating his 80th birthday with eldest grandchildren Ben and Sam
Former Lancashire Evening Post studio manager and cartoonist Ken Wignall celebrating his 80th birthday with eldest grandchildren Ben and Sam

Glowing tributes have been paid to cartoonist and former Lancashire Evening Post art studio manager Ken Wignall - the man who could not stop drawing.

Ken died earlier this month at the age of 81 after a short illness.

A  recent cartoon by Ken Wignall,  courtesy of Farmers Guardian

A recent cartoon by Ken Wignall, courtesy of Farmers Guardian

His cartoons, including a regular football strip, had delighted Post and Farmers Guardian readers for decades.

Ken was a prolific artist who also built up a significant freelance career and was in demand for cards, calendars, book illustrations and other commercial art work, as well as bespoke cartoons for special occasions. He also served as official artist for Derby County football club.

He had continued as a cartoonist for the Post’s former sister publication Farmers Guardian and submitted his last cartoon just days before he died.

Ken, a father of two and grandfather of four, who lived in Bamber Bridge, attended St Michael and All Angels school in Ashton and later trained at Preston’s then art college in Avenham before joining the Post.

Cartoon by Ken Wignall courtesy of Farmers Guardian

Cartoon by Ken Wignall courtesy of Farmers Guardian

His wife Phyll said: “He was a great recorder, an observer of people. He would see things that other people wouldn’t see. He would even observe people when we were out and he would draw them. He was drawing all the time. It wasn’t a job, it was more a way of life.”

An avid fell walker, he was a talented sportsman who played football, cricket and tennis and was a former chairman of Hoghton Cricket Club.

During National Service Ken was commissioned to design stained glass windows for the chapel at RAF Leeming.

He returned to the Post, rising to become studio manager in charge of teams at Preston and other county studios in the newspaper group.

Ken was held in high esteem by colleagues on the Post and Farmers Guardian who recall his talent, his laughter, his enduring sense of the comic and his helpfulness.

Post Editor Gillian Parkinson said: “Ken was an incredibly talented artist, but he was also a wonderfully engaging man, who brought humour to the office.”

Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs said: “Ken was a wonderful cartoonist and his satirical view of farming life was widely appreciated by our readers.”

Former Farmers Guardian editor Michael Finch added: “Ken was a joy to work with. He had his own distinctive take on all things farming. His drawing style was instantly recognisable and his cartoons much enjoyed by readers of FG. He will be greatly missed.”