East London Group

Harold Percy Steggles (08/02/1911 to 13/10/1971)

Harold was born in Highbury, the second son of Walter and Annie Elizabeth Steggles. In his early life the family moved quite frequently but eventually settled in Ilford in the early 1920’s which is where Harold completed his schooling. Aged just fourteen, Harold started work at Seaton Taylor, Solicitors, 5, Gray’s Inn Square at the end of February in 1925. He spent his entire career with the company but sadly developed Leukaemia when he was only 55 and he died in 1971, aged just 60.

On 18th May 1925 he and his elder brother Walter enrolled at the evening art classes at Bethnal Green Men’s Institute at Wolverley Street under the tutelage of Mr O’Connor. Harold exhibited at the East London Art Club exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery in 1928 and then in all eight annual East London Group exhibitions from 1929 until 1936 at the prestigious Alex. Reid & Lefevre Galleries at 1a King Street in Mayfair. Harold became a leading member of the Group and his work was always highly sought after at the these exhibitions. In 1934 Jack Beddington at Shell, Mex & BP Ltd commissioned him to produce an image for the iconic Shell poster series in 1934.

After World War Two Harold’s working and family life meant that he rarely painted although in his later years he was encouraged by his daughter to take up his brushes once more as a form of therapy during his illness. His work still remains highly sought after and his style is instantly recognisable.

img101

Harold Steggles: photo taken

near Cleethorpes 1937

img100

Harold Steggles in his

early twenties

Wally & Harold

Walter (left) and Harold Steggles photographed around 1930

IMG_2690

Harold (left) and Walter Steggles: in later life. This photo dates to possibly 1970, shortly before Harold died on leukaemia in 1971. The photo was most likely taken in the garden of Harold's house in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.

IMG_2694

Harold (left) and Walter Steggles: in later life. This photo dates to possibly 1970, shortly before Harold died on leukaemia in 1971