The Watford Observer is delighted to team up with Three Rivers Museum for a series that will remind readers of some of the people who, often now forgotten, made an impact on how their neighbours lived and worked. We continue with a Rickmansworth postman with a special talent.

Jim Walsh, born in 1893 in Battersea, was a GPO messenger and postman. He and his wife Violet married in 1920, and came to Park Road, Rickmansworth in about 1925. He continued to work for the Post Office, retiring in about 1958.

But this apparently ordinary man had an extraordinary talent, which he applied very generously. Returning to the Post Office after service in World War One, he attended evening classes at Putney School of Art, and began to draw cartoons and caricatures for publications including several national newspapers.

Watford Observer:

The Flower Seller. Picture: J Walsh, Three Rivers Museum collection

From 1926 (still a working postman, it seems) he worked for the Post Office journal ‘The Post’, and continued there until he retired, using the name "Stick". From the late 1920s he drew caricatures of many prominent people for publication in The Post and elsewhere, designed a War Memorial for the Union of Post Office Workers, and devised maps to help London postmen.

Watford Observer:

Rectory Farm. Picture: J Walsh, Three Rivers Museum collection

A small, neat and distinctive figure, Jim Walsh was a founder and active member of Rickmansworth Historical Society. Many of his drawings and paintings interpreting local scenes appeared in The Rickmansworth Historian: with these buildings having often disappeared this record is especially valuable, but he also drew wonderful posters for talks and dinners and sketches of friends and local people.

Watford Observer:

A poster for the Historical Society dinner in January 1959. Picture: J Walsh, Three Rivers Museum collection

Widowed in 1974, Jim Walsh moved to Worthing, where he died in 1991. His drawings and cartoons had illuminated many publications, and several examples are held by the Three Rivers Museum, who are planning a retrospective exhibition in his honour.

Three Rivers Museum has been closed for the winter during a significant refurbishment. It has now re-opened – details are on their website