Possibly the only interview with John and Stu’s art teacher, Nicholas Horsfield
In 1997, the elderly painter and teacher NICHOLAS HORSFIELD was a guest on my BBC Radio Merseyside programme, On The Beat. I would talk about the retrospective exhibition of his work at the Walker Art Gallery and, I think for the first time, he would answer questions about teaching John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe. As far as I am aware, he never gave any other interviews about this and for some reason (long forgotten), I never submitted this piece for publication anywhere. Spencer Leigh
From now until the end of September, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool is celebrating the 80th birthday of Nicholas Horsfield with an impressive retrospective of his work. What’s the Beatle connection? Well, Nicholas Horsfield taught at Liverpool’s Regional College of Art in the 1950s and had Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon amongst his pupils. I asked him if he would like to talk about those days. “I’ve never done it before,” he said, “and I’m not sure that anyone would be interested.” I assured him that they would be and I spent a very pleasant morning at his home in Crosby. A couple of days later, he had to do an interview for local radio in connection with his exhibition. “I hope you’re not going to ask me about the Beatles,” he told the interviewer, “Spencer quite tired me out and I’m never going to talk about them again.” Here then is the first – and last! – interview about Stuart and John from the art teacher, Nicholas Horsfield.
SL: Do you remember when you first met Stuart Sutcliffe?
NICHOLAS HORSFIELD: I suppose I must have met Stuart in the third year, that is to say the first year of the specialist painting course. He was the most dedicated, and potentially the most able, student of his year. He worked much harder and more productively than anyone else.