L Ashwell Wood’s Camden Town Tube Station
by Jeremy Briggs
One of the previous articles on Bear Alley on cutaway artist Leslie Ashwell Wood covered the preliminary pencils that he did for a King George V class battleship as used by the Royal Navy during World War II. It showed that he used his pencils for this subject twice, once for a cutaway in the 1943 Odhams book Britain’s Glorious Navy and again for a non-cutaway painting of the same ship which is now part of the collection of the UK’s National Archives and which was probably originally painted for the Ministry of Information.
Wood is best known for the cutaways that he did for Eagle comic in the 1950s and 1960s when, over the course of nineteen years, he completed more than 600 paintings for the comic. Despite printing so main cutaways over such a long period of time, it is initially surprising that while Eagle did reuse subjects in its cutaways, the supersonic airliner Concorde was covered twice for instance, it didn’t reprint earlier cutaways in later issues. It has to be said that this was probably mainly due of the change of cutaway format between the 1950s and 1960s. While Wood did illustrate the same subjects twice, including the aforementioned Concorde, he very rarely reused his pencils of earlier cutaways in later ones. While he seems to have partially reused one about ocean going ships in Vol 2 No 46 and Vol 19 No 6, both entitled “The Mighty Sea” but with substantially different layouts, the only illustration that he appears to have used in two separate issues of Eagle featured London Underground’s Camden Town Tube station.;