Gilbert Rumbold

Illustrated the quintessential Savoy Cocktail Book in the early 1930s in a ‘lively and colourful’ Art Deco style. ‘Gilbert Rumbold was living in Broadstairs in the fifties when I was a school friend of his son. He was a well known character, often to be seen wandering around with his painting equipment tucked under his one arm. He had lost an arm in a train accident but I don’t know when that was. His wife was also living in the town with their two children, but she and Gilbert had split up. I believe his wife’s name was Mary. Gilbert spent most of his time inhabiting the various pubs in Broadstairs and earned some money making drawings of local scenes, to be sold in the various gift shops in the town. I would sometimes go with his son to meet Gilbert in a pub, as he was not welcome at home. Sometime around the early seventies he was resident in a geriatric hospital and died there. I think it was called Hill House Hospital, near Minster in Thanet, Kent.’

Illustrated is one of Gilbert Rumbold’s paintings, of Joan Temple’s dog ‘Pammy’, who accompanied Jon Temple’s grandad everywhere. Jon Temple notes that his grandad was good friends with Gilbert Rumbold, and that they used to drink in the Crown Pub at the bottom of Broadstairs High Street. Rumbold loved the dog so much he did this picture of her in charcoal and watercolour.

Information collated from: Emails from Peter Spenceley, 03 November 2002, Jon Temple, June 2005, and, accessed October 04 2003


  • Rumbold, G., The Wayside Book, 1934. This has been described as “an eccentric and charming illustrated description of a number of routes for motoring (definitely motoring in 1934) and more particularly details of every pub and hotel on the way.”