In this age of Quick Buck Rules we would do well to remember those who have imparted their wisdom and learning as we career en route through the stations of life’s long (or short) journey.

Nicholas Ward studied at Lowestoft then went to St. Martin’s during the 1960’s. After this he spent three years doing post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy Schools, where amongst other things, he was awarded the Eric Kennington Prize for Drawing.

An avid British motorcyclist, Mr. Ward’s work has always been based on his love of drawing as inculcated by the Greenham era at the RAS. Ward has produced many etchings and owes his early interest in the medium to the input of staff at the Schools, especially Jackie Biddulph. Below is an example of his work: ‘Bantam Maintenance’, etching and aquatint. To see a comprehensive online show of Mr. Ward’s work, visit: http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/magazine/nicholas-ward-etchings/ But do come back sometime!

bantam maintenance by N.Ward

Bantam maintenance by N.Ward

Ward left London and settled in his native East Anglia, where he taught drawing to students at Great Yarmouth College of Art & Design. He is best remembered for his relentless pillorying of the late caretaker George Mather – and for always being willing to demonstrate what he was ‘going on about’.

Nick Ward currently lives in East Anglia with his wife Liz. He illustrates for Classic Bike Magazine and has become an RE (not Religious Education).

Barry Drake

Tim Martin has recently announced along with Hazel Terry – that Barry Drake, etching and print-making tutor of the former GYCAD has recently passed away. No doubt we shall write a full obituary eventually, but to all Barry’s family we send our heart felt condolences. In time we shall remember Barry’s charm and kindness and put further posts here to remind us of this. For now, anyone with a comment, memorabilia etc. who would like to add to this blog – please contact admin through the site

b&w photo of Barry Drake
Barry Drake and colleagues (including Colin Giles) as students. Circa 1956


  1. John Waudby

    I have a sketch of Berney Arms Mill on the Norfolk broads signed N.Ward,Am I to presume this is the same person as described above.
    Regrads John

  2. Dear John,
    it is very likely that the sketch you have is by Nicholas Ward, as described here. If you could send me a scanned copy or a link to an uploaded image of it I could quickly confirm whether or not it is by Mr. Ward.

  3. I have just found out that the lovely Barry Drake has died and in trying to find a picture of the GT Yarmouth art college I have found your site.
    Best wishes

  4. Ann Whyntie (nee Watson)

    I have a signed etching print by Barry Drake. i believe he was a pupil of my late father, George Watson, who taught painting and drawing at Gt Yarmouth College of Art in the early ’50 s. My father’s untimely death in 1955 pre dated this picture, which I believe my mother purchased at a later date.

  5. Dear Ann,
    thanks for your message. I’ve been unwell, hence the delay in responding. It would be interesting to see the etching, if you are able and willing to send a scan of it?
    See etchings by Nick Ward at the Bircham Gallery online, very good.

  6. Glad to read that Nick is alive and kicking. I have fond memories of ‘Springstein of Yarmouth’ trying to teach us art students in the very early eighties. always had a small space for his memory in my heart , along with
    Drake, Hughes, Newlands, Giles, Simons, huff (?) Parry, old Uncle Tom Cobbly and all!

  7. Dear Mark,
    I will pass your comments on to Mr. Ward and thank you for them. It’s a shame GYCAD was dispensed with, for a while I ran a blog about it referring to it as ‘Yarmouth’s greatest export’. Anyway, hope you are doing well. Keep in touch, best wishes from Alan Dedman.

  8. Great photo of Nick Ward. He tried to teach me printmaking in 79/80 but with a smashed up wrist from a motorbike accident, it was difficult to say the least.
    I go to Gt. Yarmouth often but alas no more art school. No NORCAT either,as we knew it. I ended up being a tutor there with Tony and Anne working with Dons students as he was on secondment. Thanks for the great memories.

  9. Sophie Miller

    The Late Great Fabulous Barry Drake is my Dad. Sadly he died a few years ago now in 2013, but the Legend lives on in our hearts and our memories. It’s great reading all the comments above and all the names mentioned are very familiar from my childhood.


    Omg… So please to find you after so long Di xx

  11. I attended GYCAD 1974-76 and had such a great time. Taught by the wonderful Barry Drake (Bingo), Nick Ward and Derick Mace. (I believe he too has passed.) Also Maggie Leiden for textile design. I’d love to get in touch with her again if anyone knows a contact for her.

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