Home / Funny / Viral / Man Spends Over 50 Years Drawing His Hometown In Britain On a 100 Foot Long Paper


Some people have such a deep love for their hometowns that they want to share everything about them with the rest of the world and preserve their heritage. Many choose to do this by working as tour guides or by just taking pictures of their beautiful city, but one British man's effort is even more admirable. Over 54 years, artist Maurice Ivor Birch drew the town of Aldridge on a 100-foot-long roll of paper. It wasn't until 2023 that Birch completed his visual love letter to his hometown after purchasing the enormous paper roll in 1969. At a car boot sale, he paid 10 shillings for the scroll, thinking it would amuse his 4-year-old son.

He told The Daily Mail, “I thought ‘I'm having that' because I used to do little cartoon sketches of animals and [creepy crawlies] for my son to colour in and it seemed ideal."

Birch, who is currently 82 years old, has made this artistic endeavour a five-decade hobby. I had intended to rip them off, but as soon as I started drawing on them, I found it difficult to stop. I finished about 80 sketches before asking myself, "What else can I do?" He decided to sketch the Aldridge buildings at that point because he had spent his entire life there. Since so many of the local buildings have long since vanished from the landscape, I decided to preserve the scroll while sketching them for future generations.

There are currently 320 pencil and pen drawings of historic buildings on the scroll. Since no city remains the same for very long, many of the buildings in Birch's drawings are now gone, including hotels, shops, pubs, and cottages that he drew from memory. He mixed the lost construction of the past with the current appearance of Aldridge over 2,560 hours, or 106 days.

Birch's work has been turned into a book, appropriately named Aldridge on a Roll, since it would be difficult for everyone to peruse the same scroll. The man remarks, "Hopefully it will be a legacy showing the way Aldridge used to be." When I was a boy, that village was the most exquisite one. Even though a lot of the buildings have disappeared, it's still a great place to live and I wouldn't want to move elsewhere. My children can now sort of see Aldridge the way I've always wished they could. 

Article Tags: Viral Drawings Britain Hometown

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