James Page-Roberts

Born on the 5th of February 1925 in the Roman town of Silchester. Educated at Wellington College and Taft School (USA). Joined the RAF in 1942.

Having been invalided out of the war as a pilot, he became a medical student at St. Thomas’s Hospital. After a recurrence of tuberculosis, he studied art and then theatre design at The Central School of Art. Having completed the design course at the Old Vic School, he painted scenery at The Royal Opera House and designed for repertory, touring shows, children’s theatre and television.

Returning to his primary love of painting, he exhibited in many mixed exhibitions, and in London galleries, such as The Leicester Gallery and The Redfern Gallery. He held one man shows of landscape and people in landscape at galleries in London’s Galerie de Seine, The Reid Gallery, Cork Street, and The Qantas Gallery, Bond Street, besides shows at The Central Library, Cambridge, and The Kintetsu Gallery, Osaka, Japan.

Finding that he was adding more and more sculpture to his various exhibitions of paintings and drawings, he was working toward a show of large works in elm wood, when a broken wrist, sustained in a car accident, put an end to the project. Now, unable to sculpt, he turned his attention to writing.

He is the author of “Vines in your Garden” (Argus Books), author/illustrator of “The Best Wine in the Super Market” and the first three editions of “The Best Wine Buys in the High Street” (Foulsham), author and part illustrator of “The Oldie Cookbook” (The Carbery Press), author/illustrator and part photographer of “Vines and Wines in a Small Garden” (The Herbert Press/A & C Black), “Wines from a Small Garden” (Abbeville Press, New York), its second edition translation into Dutch, “Druif en wijn uit eigen tuin” (Schuyt, Haarlem), “Guide to a Dockland of Change” (The Mudlark Press), “Canary Wharf and Sights from Docklands Light Rail” (The Mudlark Press), “Dockland Buildings Old and New” (The Mudlark Press), “Cooking in Docklands Past and Present” (The Mudlark Press) and “Harbours, Girls and a Slumbering World” (The Mudlark Press).

In the early 1960s he bought a warehouse on the Thames in Limehouse and converted it to two studios, wanting to live in the district from which he had sailed on coasters as a supernumerary. This turned out to be the first warehouse in Docklands to be converted into living accommodation.

One-time member of the Circle of Wine Writers, he is a member of The Society of Authors He has written over 700 articles, mainly on wine and gardening, for newspapers (including the Financial Times) and various magazines.

Referred to by Punch as a Reformation man, and even ‘new age man’ by the BBC, he has behind him considerable experiences in life. These include: volunteer fireman, farm labourer, prop-swinger, RAF pilot, medical student, art student, matelot supernumerary, scene painter at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, set designer for the theatre and television, designer for children’s theatre and television, house designer and builder, world traveller, painter, fruit picker, house husband/father, vineyard owner and vigneron, sculptor, author, illustrator, sound and television broadcaster (the subject of two Gardeners’ World programmes for BBC2 and also for Southern and Cable Television), photographer and publisher.

The author now lives on the borders of Hammersmith and Chiswick, London, where he has returned to painting after a writing break of 24 years.

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