The naked truth
photo: Rosemary Brown
Gales of laughter reverberated around the Methodist Chapel when 19 members and guests of Stanhoe and Barwick WI listened to Ruth Smith regale them with her “Tales of a Life Model”.
A diminutive Londoner, with a gift for comical commentary, Ruth started life as a copy typist and had an endless string of boring office jobs before moving to Norfolk as a vicar’s wife.
After three children had come along, a friend illustrating a children’s book asked if she could draw the back of Ruth’s knees, commenting on how still she kept. That was the start of the second career for Ruth as a life model.
Norwich Art School hired her immediately as she was adept at striking a variety of poses, both individually and in the company of another model. To alleviate the boredom of maintaining poses for three hours she would count passing cars, or think of things with different alphabet letters, or silently sing songs such as “100 green bottles”, or even hymns. Her “mermaid pose” was her most popular.
Ill health brought an end to Ruth’s modelling career, but she soon found a replacement speaking to groups, relating racy tales of her previous 10 years’ work. We really did laugh and laugh a lot, as every sentence involved a joke.
Well done Ruthie!