James B Fullarton
Some additional research from my friend Dude.
I did a trawl around Google looking for more info on that leading light, James B Fullarton, who arguably was single handedly responsible for the Golden Age of Spick & Span from the early to mid 1960s.
What you may not know is that he was an acclaimed painter and a scion of the local gentry, as these searches suggest.
Doing a poor imitation of Sherlock Holmes, I’ve speculated on what all this might mean, and welcome alternative interpretations if you’re interested.
It shows a picture of a son of the local Ayrshire gentry, who had time enough to learn to become a proficient painter, and who was good enough to still fetch a price many years after he died.
Not many painters can get a grand for their work, but JBF did – and years after he died, which is an achievement. Most painters get instantly forgotten.
The fact he also had access to posh tennis clubs to take his photos (see Liz McEwan pics and similar) also suggest he was well placed locally.
Bearsden is quite a posh place too, especially back in those days when a Glasgow outskirt was practically in the country ( Bearsden today is considered the best place to be a woman in UK)
And he had a secret glamour photography hobby.
Photography costs money, more so in those days when disposable incomes were less.
Possibly he was funded by a family stipend given to their artist wastrel offshoot?
Or maybe he was a really successful businessman in his own right?
Or maybe they gave him start-up funds for his business in Bearsden? Who knows?
Either way it takes money to get started photographing girls the way he did.
Cameras, developing, film, girls fees, outfits – all quite big money in an age when £10 a week was a wage, and even doctors only earned 30 quid a week.
At the same time, I can’t imagine he ever made a proper living from his glamour photos.
And on top of that he had the time to learn to become an accomplished painter and run a business?
So did his family or his business provide the money support his photography and painting required?
My unprovable suspicion is that he was a Bertie Wooster in his day, maybe the last of a dying breed.
Your thoughts welcome on this. Please leave a comment.