These drawings appear in the margins of the Treasurer's copy of the minutes for Newport Borough on the Isle of Wight. The doodles were drawn during meetings of the Council. Sometimes they reflect the topic under discussion: car allowances or a mobile crane. Other drawings are believed to be of fellow officers, councillors and aldermen. Some show transport (including a local speciality - the hovercraft), others show birds, fish and a dog.
Newport's senior finance officer, first as Borough Accountant and then as Borough Treasurer was Ron Machin. He held the post from 1937, when he moved to the Isle of Wight to May 1968. When he retired his successor still made notes in the minutes, but the sequence of drawings end.
Despite the drawings, the papers were carefully gathered together and bound, then trimmed to give the smoothest finish to the new volume. As a result the edges of some of the images are lost.
Ron Machin was born in North London. He had a keen interest in bird-watching and fishing. He served as President of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society from 1966-68. In his obituary he was described as completely loyal and true. "As a colleague, he was all that could be desired."
To doodle : originally meant to trifle, or to fritter away time. It may come from the word dawdle, although in the 17th century a doodle was a simple person.
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