John H (Jack) Seabrook

Benfleet Artist and former Bank of England Messenger

John H. Seabrook, known as Jack was born in Islington in 1935 and because of the war his schooling was patchy. However it soon became apparent that  he possessed a talent  for art.   Unable to afford attendance at art college,  he used libraries and became a self-taught artist.   It was around 1979 that he took up residence in sunny Benfleet having visited the area on family holidays.

Called up for national service he opted to stay in the army a further 18 months  and then began a 34 year stint as a Bank of England messenger.The highlight of which was the Bank’s prestigious art competition, which Jack duly won with a picture of the bank in the rain.  However Jack was not aware of this and went along to the reception not knowing that he was the winner of the  300 guinea first prize (Value today  =  £443) .  It was a pleasant surprise when colleagues started to congratulate him.

The seven watercolours displayed here are mostly based on Edwardian photos, but the two oils were done on location His early work was very much based on commissions to paint people’s cats and dogs, but a post retirement job in Canary Wharf brought a new audience. The accompanying magazine article  reproduced here is taken from the Summer 1995 edition of  The Courier.

Looking west from the Benfleet-Canvey bridge
Looking east from the Benfleet - Canvey bridge
Boatyard, the Pitsea side of the bridge
Public transport in 1905
Annual fete Anchor Meadows 1908
Horse and trap passing Sleepy Hollow Cottage1910
Black boarded waterfront
A thatched Hoy and Helmet 1900
The Courier, Summer 1995
Picquet Going into the bank - winner of the prestigous Bank of England art competition in 1995
Bank of England

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  • We have a painting of the West Gate towers in Canterbury by Jack.

    By Jon Meiklejohn (23/09/2023)
  • Thanks for your comment, Carolyn, which I have added to the article.

    Pam J. Bird-Gaines

    By Pamela Gaines (08/07/2023)
  • John (Jack )Seabrook, known to me as uncle Jack has been a family friend all my life. He is my late father’s Ron Bousfield’s best friend of many years. Our families used to live next door to each other in Stanford-le-Hope, and then we all moved to Benfleet in 1975. Uncle Jack is a fabulous artist having painted most of my animals over the years, for myself, and my mum. He is now I think about 86 years old and still as lovely as ever. Xxx

    By Carolyn Rawlings (07/07/2023)
  • This is my grandad hahaha

    By Kyle (12/09/2022)
  • I would like to contact Jack Seabrook, I knew him many years ago. Is there any way to be put in touch with him?

    By Margaret Nyrvana-Jones (18/05/2018)

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