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(Alfred) Ernest Marples, 1st Baron Marples ('And with a wave of my magic wand, I shall again perform the impossible....')

© Solo Syndication Ltd

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(Alfred) Ernest Marples, 1st Baron Marples ('And with a wave of my magic wand, I shall again perform the impossible....')

by Victor Weisz
pencil, pen and ink, blue crayon and white heightening, published in Evening Standard 7 December 1961
14 1/4 in. x 19 in. (362 mm x 483 mm) uneven
Given by Lady Ruth Marples, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG 5353

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Victor Weisz (1913-1966), 'Vicky'; cartoonist. Artist associated with 15 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

This portraitback to top

During his period in office Ernest Marples introduced the MOT test, yellow lines, seat belts, compulsory crash helmets for motorcyclists, Panda crossings and traffic wardens, and greatly extended the use of parking meters. These were first introduced in 1958 outside the US Embassy in London. More than 40 years before the Congestion Charge scheme, the Pink Zone parking plan for central London was introduced by Marples in November 1959 as an effort to prevent parked cars clogging the capital's streets during the Christmas and New Year sales periods. It was repeated in 1960 and 1961, by which time 10,600 parking meters had been erected in the central London controlled zone. This drawing shows Marples as a magician in a Christmas show. Note that the parking meter has been cut out and pasted onto the original drawing, while a traditional star-topped magic wand has been blacked out from Marples' left hand, together with the words 'Pink Zone'.

Linked publicationsback to top

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Events of 1961back to top

Current affairs

Peter Benenson's article The Forgotten Prisoners is published internationally, inspiring the founding of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.
The philosopher and peace activist Bertrand Russell is imprisoned for inciting civil disobedience during a sit down demonstration at the Ministry of Defence and Hyde Park.
The farthing coin - used in Britain for the last 7 centuries - ceases to be legal tender.

Art and science

Rudolf Nureyev defects from the USSR fearing that the KGB would arrest him for being gay and for fraternising with foreigners. After seeking asylum in Paris he set up home in London at the Royal Ballet and began his famous partnership with Margot Fonteyn.
The satirical magazine, Private Eye is first published.

International

The East German government erects the Berlin Wall, ceasing free movement between East and West Berlin. The barrier prevented citizens of Soviet controlled East Germany from crossing the border into West Germany to work, or to defect.
Yuri Gagarin, the soviet cosmonaut, becomes the first man in space orbiting the earth on the 12th April.

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