Friday, 10 July 2020

The Traffic Cone



Storm in a teacup as I'm sure it'll turn out to be, I whipped up a lot of response on Facebook this week when I spotted this on the road outside our house. As I explained...

First world problems. Just drove to the shops and was delighted to find the space I'd left was there when I came back.
With a cone in it.
So, what do I do? Move the cone and take my space back? Or respect the thought that someone might have a genuine medical emergency and really needs that space?
I have done the latter. I'm currently on the double yellow line with a "local resident waiting for a space, please don't ticket" sign in the windscreen. Keeping an eye on that coned spot. If it turns out it's taken by someone who really needed the space, I'll feel like a good citizen who did the right thing.
If it turns out to be someone who just greedily nabbed and coned the space for their own selfishness, I shall never respect another traffic cone in a parking space again. That's fair isn't it?

I got a lot of responses on both my Facebook timeline and Hello Clevedon, here are just a few...

I’d move it. I doubt a traffic warden would be at all sympathetic to your sign and medical emergencies don’t usually leave enough time to plan to go out and put out a cone. They’re of no legal authority and you’ve as much right to park there as whoever put it there. - Steve

It'll just be someone with a sense of entitlement. - Other Steve

Putting things like cones or wheelie bins on the street to block out space without permission is an offence under the Highways Act, and anyone caught could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100. - Hello Clevedon

Move it, it's not a legal cone. Its basically an unlawful obstruction. Only police cones are a legal requirement. - Dave

I work in car Insurance. If your car is insured and there is a legit gap, you can’t stop someone parking in a certain spot. Unless you have a drop kerb and they are blocking your drive. Or private property. I would have removed the cone and parked. End of. - Sim

Absolutely right what hello Clevedon said I had same issue with a neighbour who used to do this it back fired on him . Pay car tax park where you like . - Sarah

Move the cone.
Public road and you have a right to park. If it's an emergency they can park on double yellows and explain the situation to the authorities if need be. - Jonathan

Yeah move it ....no dibs on parking....the nerve of some people - Gary

The wardens are instructed not to read notes in the window. Move the cone you have a right to park on any unrestricted street in the UK - Jon

You really shouldn't get out more - Declan

Phone Cone-stabulary! - Neil

Walk - Paul

Bugger the cone. I would've popped it back on the pavement and parked. It's one step up from Wally's who put their bins out as though that is some international signal of ownership. - Graeme

We’ve got two people that do that who live near a primary school. It’s very sad and pathetic - Alice

We have turned a bit into a society which has an underlying feeling of 'entitlement' - perhaps this exemplifies this trend. Mercedes owners included presumably. - Dave

Take a photo of the cone before you remove it into safe keeping. Leave a printed image behind with a ransom note and a PO Box number for the payment if the owner ever wants to see it again. Should there be any delay you could cut out the shape of a little finger with a scalpel and leave it on the kerb side.…………I have been in quarantine for a while now so I don’t know if this is a film!!!!!! - Paul

When you see it again, put it in your own boot! He’s knicked it anyway, so it’s not his property! - Ian


I updated the story with the news that...

UPDATE: A car has come and taken the space, a big black Mercedes. And I suspect it is the cone-culprit himself. Why do I think that? Because the cone has now disappeared! (My bet is it's in his boot. If I see that cone again I shall move it, but not until I've secretly marked it with marker pen so we'll know it's his if he tries it again.)

Nice plan Sherlock Cones! - Bruce

Then, rather ominously, this post came on my timeline...

Which, if genuine, is quite worrying because the man who posted it is a Krav Maga self defence instructor? Is everyone so keen on me moving his cone now? (Actually, yes, you probably are, you sadistic lot.)

I'm sure that's the last we'll hear of the story.


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres - AND NOW ONLINE VIA ZOOMemail for details. His graphic novels Findlay Macbeth and The Prince Of Denmark Street are available on Amazon. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Space Chicken - the last comics of March and the first on Zoom


Here, united in one montage, are the final two comics produced in my Comic Art Masterclasses in the old world, in live classes at Baldock Arts Centre on the 14th of March, and the comics produced in my first two Zoom classes, in the last week of June and the first week of July. The old times meet the new, and I'm so pleased to have returned to working with, if not in, schools once again.

After the longest break my classes have ever taken, I think, since I started them in earnest at the end of the 2000s, I'm back, thanks to the technology of Zoom, and the generosity and ambition of a first few schools and art centres. After March 14th's Baldock classes, the pandemic's effect well and truly took hold, and every school visit that was scheduled from that date onwards was cancelled. Nobody knew when that sort of thing would resume, but certainly throughout April and May there wasn't the slightest feeling that they might.

As we entered June, Hev and I were getting used to using Zoom for Felicity & Tom's regular quiz game  parties, and I'd been guesting on Dean Friedman's online shows with the Socks and, in June, played on the first of his Zoom gigs. It became clear that Zoom was a way that I could do classes, and I'd stayed in conversation with schools about the possibility of my classes resumed.

But it wasn't until Laura, a teacher at Red Maids Juniors in Bristol, took the initiative that we actively set up and did a day of Comic Art Masterclasses. And on June 24th, after a full three months away, I was back. You can see those first two comics in the montage. To begin with I was worried that the kids would miss the photocopied comic that we usually produce, but that wasn't an issue. And more than that, I was able to work with a larger number of pupils in one session. As long as they weren't bothered that only 30 per session would get their caricatures, then I was able to work with groups of 50 or more.

My second day of classes, with year 5 and 6 of Edgeborough School in Farnham, was on July 7th, and went even more smoothly. With a mix of kids in "bubbles" of classes of 12, sharing one video screen, and kids with individual ipads and laptops, I'm continually working out ways of making the classes hit the mark on Zoom. And, in lots of ways, it enables me to have more impact with some things than I do in the class.

Little by little, routines are changing and developing so that, soon, the Zoom classes will very much be their own entity. The only worry then will be, when live classes return, will I remember how I used to do them?

The celebrities these 6 groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip (which survives intact in the Zoom classes) were Donald Trump (twice), Lazer Beam (a Youtuber), Kim Kardashian, Kim Jong Un, and The Queen.

I have two more days of classes lined up in July and two in August, so far, with the hope that more will continue to be added. Let's see if, by the start of the new term, whether this couldn't become my new way of working. Until, as we all hope, normal service is resumed.

(That said, the amount of time I've not spent stuck in a car is already appreciated. Today's classes in Farnham would have seen me drive 230 miles and be in the car for four and a half hours alone. The forthcoming classes in Bexley, Surrey and Harrow would have seen more of the same. The petrol station's loss is my gain, with the comic covers from each of these classes being coloured and emailed back to their schools faster than I would have made it as far as Leigh Delamere services.)


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres - AND NOW ONLINE VIA ZOOMemail for details. His debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth is available on Amazon. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

Monday, 6 July 2020

Should The Socks do a show on Zoom?



How's this for one of our more popular suggestions? Fired up by doing a second Zoom concert as guests of Dean Friedman, the Socks made a quick video and put out the suggestion - Should We Do A Show On Zoom

The reply seems to be a pretty resounding yes so far. In the first fifteen minutes since the question went out on Twitter and Facebook, we've had about 20 thumbs up, with more coming in. Thanks everyone.

(Making mental note to make sure the first replie-ees get reminders when we set a date.




Case van Stolk
I’d love to watch the Scottish falsetto sock puppet theater over zoom!
Nick Kent
Please never do anything on mute :)



  • Linda Brooks Socks.... would LOVE to see you on Zoom!!
    My all time favourite moment is the false teeth Bee Gees scene 😬
  • Wendy McAngus Yes please!



    • Lindsey David Vigor The socks were soooooo funny on DeanZine last night. Best backing group ever and multi-talented, is there no instrument they can't play????????
    • Wendy Verth Yes please 🙋🏻‍♀️
    I'm going to have to stop cutting and pasting these from Facebook, as the amount of code that comes with each message is mind boggling and might just break Blogger. Suffice it to say I have to get cracking and schedule a gig.
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