Noel Ford March 28 2007 Cartoonist, friend (For the exhibition):
Dave was a cartoonists' cartoonist. Not just in the sense that his cartoons were so much admired by his colleagues, but in the social sense, too… If, by some chance, the name, Dave Follows is not a familiar one to you, you will still, almost certainly, recognize his cartoons, which have appeared in their thousands in newspaper strips, greeting cards, calendars and too many other places to mention. Of that bunch of cartoonists, gathered together at the end of a hard days drawing (we won't call it 'work'!) there would be only one surprised by the popularity of Dave's cartoons - Dave himself. He has been described as a very modest cartoonist, and that was certainly true, but I think it went further than that. I think Dave genuinely did not believe in his own cartooning genius. I remember many an occasion when Dave couldn't wait to describe a particularly funny cartoon he had just drawn - he would be bubbling over, almost childlike in his enthusiasm. But he wouldn't be telling me in order to solicit my admiration. On the contrary, he would be telling me because he wanted to share his own surprise that such a gag had, inexplicably, poured out of his pen.
The cartoons, here, represent a drop in the ocean compared to Dave's prodigious output, but there are more than enough to give you a glimpse of his great talent. And if, as you walk around, having a quiet chuckle or even laughing aloud, Dave himself is looking down, he's probably thinking, "I expect they only came in to get out of the rain."
Paul Hardman Cartoonist, friend:
"Dave had organised a cartoonists' tour of the Potteries and was very fretful as this all fell apart at the first hurdle when the buses failed to arrive to take us all from the hotel to a reception at the Sentinel offices.
Dave was beside himself and wanting to make contact with a taxi firm to bale us out. "Has any one got a mobile?" he shouts.
John Witt, one of the cartoonists, told him to calm down and answer the phone as he had already contacted the firm.
He handed Dave the handset, which he put to his ear and spent some considerable time trying to contact someone before realising that he had been handed a television handset.
Of course in the true spirit of Dave, this absolutely made his day and immediately calmed him right down."
Noel Ford Cartoonist, friend
"Dave was due to do a strip cartoon about "The Last of the Summer Wine" for the Daily Star. But on his very first day working full-time as a cartoonist the paper rang and said the deal was off.
Dave said he sat there and cried. And his wife Audrey came in and said: 'There's no use sitting moping, get on with it and be funny'".
Paul Hardman Cartoonist, friend
"Dave was one of the most unassuming and modest of craftsmen who was probably the only person on God's earth who genuinely had no idea as to why his work was held in such high esteem. He would giggle like a little kid and get all flustered when anybody paid him a compliment or gave him an award."
Graham Fowell Cartoonist, friend
"Dave's contribution to the world of cartooning was signficant.
As well as his internationally acclaimed 'Creature Feature', Dave's cartoons for his local audience were beautifully crafted observations of Staffordshire and its people, complete with a local dialect - Dave was a one off."
Video interviews by Inspired Film and Video
Interesting facts about Dave Follows from his sister Heather:
David has always been known as Dave... even from a young age.
He was the oldest sibling... Dave being born in 1941 brother Trevor 1943 and sister Heather 1949.
Dave’s first school was Holmcroft School Stafford...which he left when he was 11, he then moved to Dartmouth Street School which was a all Male School...he stayed there till he was 15yrs old.
Even from a VERY early age Dave showed a natural talent for drawing and drove his family made by drawing in covers of books...nothing was safe, they were always animals ...mainly dogs faces. Going to Dartmouth street helped Dave come into his own, at Dartmouth Street they did stage productions, their Christmas panto’s are still talked about...Dave started to shine.
When he left school his first job was painting and decorating with a man called... Don Pettit he then went to Dormans.
Dave was into music with his brother Trevor and he used to drive the family mad, Trevor on Drums and Dave on the guitar. Dave had a good voice and was in a number of group’s, one was called, ‘’The Nelsons’’ He did a lot for charity with the ‘’Link’’ these were a group of people who would put a party on for the old folk at Christmas time...and a show, singing etc....Dave did this for many years.