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Peter William Pollock
(November 19, 1919 - July 28, 2001) U.K.

Peter Pollock

Restaurateur

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Born in London, he was part-heir to the Midlands light engineering company Accles & Pollock. The firm had been co-founded in 1901 by his grandfather Thomas Pollock. Peter Pollock volunteered for military service at the start of the Second World War and gained a commission in the Gordon Highlanders. He served as a captain in North Africa and Italy. He was taken prisoner in Italy and spent four years in a German Prisoner of War camp.

After the War he bought a farm in Flaunden, Hertfordshire. He combined a dairy herd with pig farming, and greyhound breeding. On Sundays he had a open house in Flaunden for painters, writers, and actors. One of his frequent visitors was Francis Bacon before he was well known. He did now have his own home and was allowed to come and go as he pleased.

Francis Bacon was also allowed to use of a flat owned by Peter Pollock overlooking Battersea Park in London. Peter Pollock provided Francis Bacon's accommodation free of rent between 1955 and 1961. Francis Bacon showed his gratitude by sometimes leaving behind pictures.

Peter Pollock was to have a lifelong companion in Paul Danquah whose studies for the Bar at the Inner Temple he had helped to fund. Peter Pollock was a regular at the Colony Club in Soho run by Muriel Belcher and frequented by artists such as Francis Bacon and John Minton and the writer Daniel Farson. It was here that Peter Pollock learned about the life in Morocco which had become fashionable after some notoriety. He and Paul Danquah moved there in the late 1970s and set up home together in Tangier.

Peter Pollock acquired the Pergola, a bar and restaurant on the Tangier seafront. It became famous for its swordfish and chips. During the summer months many of his friends from London congregated in the Pergola to form what came to be known as 'The Flaunden Set'.

A black and white photograph of Peter Pollock with Francis Bacon in Tangier is reproduced in Daniel Farson's biography of Francis Bacon. Peter Pollock became an invalid in 1999 after a severe stroke.

Around this time a suitcase was found underneath a bed in a spare room in the home of Peter Pollock and Paul Danquah and it contained a hoard of Francis Bacon's early work. Peter Pollock ensured that the paintings were acquired by the Tate Gallery. The Tate Gallery's exhibition "Francis Bacon: works on paper and paintings" in 2001 largely comprised the thirty-five art-works given to Peter Pollock, along with four drawings given to Stephen Spender. He died of a second stroke in Tangier, Morocco.

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Source: excerpts from: The Knitting Circle, U.K. - http://www.sbu.ac.uk/stafflag/people.html

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