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Children’s illustrator Helen Bate looking for memories of Annie and Frank Maskew

Date published: 14 May 2019


A children’s author and illustrator has been commissioned to produce artwork telling the story of Annie and Frank Maskew, who left a sum of money to Rochdale Library.

Helen Bate, of Shropshire, is looking for people’s memories of the couple to help her artwork, a two-page graphic-novel style piece, commissioned by the Rochdale Literary & Ideas Festival.

Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

They are remembered through the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library and also at the annual Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival each October.

Helen said: “I am trying to find anyone who has any memories of Annie, who died in 2006, and was a teacher at the Queen Elizabeth School for many years, or Frank, who died in 1981.

“I’m trying to find out as much as possible as I can about them and thought some of Rochdale Online’s readers might have some memories that may be helpful.”

Originally an architect, Helen retrained as an illustrator in her 40’s. Whilst a student, she was joint winner of the Macmillan Student Prize for illustration. In 2005, Helen also established ‘Pictures to Share’, a social enterprise publishing books for people with dementia.

If anyone has any memories of the couple that they would like to share, please email Helen:

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