Ex-Sunderland cop framed ... for art’s sake!

Cartoonist Peter Leech exhibition at South Shields Museum
Cartoonist Peter Leech exhibition at South Shields Museum
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A FORMER Sunderland police officer has turned to the long arm of the draw.

After retiring from the force, Peter Leech turned his hand to developing his love of art and craft.

Cartoonist Peter Leech's work

Cartoonist Peter Leech's work

Now he has his work on display.

From the Great North Run and 
Roman to gladiators fighting in the 
Colosseum, Peter’s cartoons offer 
a unique perspective on historical events.

The 72-year-old’s artwork is on display at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery until September.

Peter, who lived in Pennywell 
during his time with the Sunderland Borough Police from where he retired in 1993, said: “I’ve always been artistic, but I’ve only been cartooning now for about 10 years.

“I’m one of those people who has ants in my pants – I just can’t sit still, I’ve always got to be doing something.

“I’ve got a benign tremor in my hands and they shake terribly now. I used to do a lot of crafting and sculpting, but I can’t do that any more, but found that I could still draw.

“I draw just about anything and enjoy doing topical cartoons, and enjoy doing anything naval.

“Someone counted the heads on my Great North Run cartoon and apparently there are around 3,000, but of course the ones right at the back are just dots. It did take a while though.”

Peter was born in London and lived there until his late teens, when he joined the Merchant Navy as an engine room boy.

He and wife, Sylvia, with whom he has two children and three grandchildren, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. “Seeing my cartoons in an exhibition is very exciting.

“I’ve had artist exhibitions before with my wife, who is a watercolourist, but this is my first one that is just cartoons.

“It’s lovely to see them up on the walls, and I’ve had a lot of lovely comments from the people who have seen them so far.

“Hopefully this won’t be my last exhibition.”

The museum is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. Admission is free.