Times cartoonist lends support to play about rowing champ Harry Clasper

David Haldane, who draws for The Times, has created these illustrations of Harry Clasper for Ed Waugh's play, Hadaway Harry.
David Haldane, who draws for The Times, has created these illustrations of Harry Clasper for Ed Waugh's play, Hadaway Harry.

One of the country’s leading cartoonists is lending his talents to an upcoming play in South Tyneside.

Former Gazette employee David Haldane, who now draws for The Times, has created two caricatures to celebrate one of the North East’s greatest sporting heroes.

Here's another of David Haldane's drawings of Harry Clasper.

Here's another of David Haldane's drawings of Harry Clasper.

David has sent his work to South Shields playwright Ed Waugh for inclusion in a picture montage for his upcoming play Hadaway Harry.

The show marks the 170th anniversary of when Harry Clasper and his brothers brought the world rowing championships to the Tyne for the first time in June 1845.

David, 60, who worked in the Gazette’s art department from 1978 to 1982, is now a cartoonist for The Times.

His work is placed on the front and inside of the paper and is seen by hundreds of thousands of people each day nationally and internationally.

They are fantastic and fit perfectly into the background story.

Ed Waugh

Now living in Morpeth, Northumberland, David is friends with Ed, and used his btalents to help solve a problem.

He explained: “Ed said he was having difficulty getting pictures to illustrate aspects of the play, which is set in the mid-19th century.

“He needed a picture of Harry’s revolutionary racing boat, the Five Brothers.

“This boat, thinner than any used before, was the very first to use the outriggers, for the oars to slot into, the type of racing craft we see at the Olympics today.

“I was fascinated by the story. Harry is the man the Blaydon Races was written for, and when he died 130,000 attended his funeral. Incredible.”

David decided to help out and sent a cartoon of the team in the boat, as well as a picture of Harry Clasper.

Ed said: “They are fantastic and fit perfectly into the background story.”

Hadaway Harry, which tours the region for two weeks, opens at the Maritime Trust Boat House in Wapping Street, South Shields, on Monday, June 29, where it runs until Wednesday, July 2.

The show finishes with a run at Bede’s World, in Church Bank, Jarrow, from Friday, July 10 to Saturday, July 11.

Tickets cost £10 and are available for both venues on (0191) 424 7788.

Members of the public are invited to attend an open rehearsal at the former Riddick’s shoe shop in Fowler Street, South Shields.

The venue contains a Harry Clasper exhibition and the rehearsal will run from 10am to noon on Wednesday, June 24.

David Gibson, who is designing and making the costumes, will also be there to talk about his work.