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About : Mike Willis - Artist based in Oswestry, Shropshire

My maternal Grandfather, Alfred Corney Lavers, had 4 children, two boys and two girls. 

When they married and had children of their own, he made each of their first-born

a book of nursery rhymes that he illustrated.

I have vivid memories of my book but only one of the originals has survived and this

belongs to my Cousin, Stephen Lavers. The cards in this series come from his book.

Each book had little personal touches. For some time Stephen's Father worked for 

Gilbey's Gin, hence the details in Hark Hark the Dogs Do Bark. Then there is the

change of Simple Simon Went a Fishing to Little Stephen went a fishing. 

Our Grandfather was not a professional artist but the watercolours show a skill and

beauty that we both thought deserved to reach a wider audience.


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