Sherry’s Cartoons: An Introduction

Many employees will remember the cartoons produced by Ernie Sherry and which have been published regularly in Bibendum magazine. Ernie, born in 1926 (the same year as HM The Queen and François Michelin), is very much a product of the Potteries, where artistic skill in pottery decoration is legion.

However, Ernie’s talent is not inherited, neither does it seem to have been handed-down to his descendants and relations. And, with the sole exception of art classes at school, where, not surprisingly, he was top-of-the-class, he has never had any art instruction. The explanation, according to the man himself, is that “it’s in my DNA and I’ve known it since I was born!”.

Ernie has always taken a keen interest in the ‘fundamentals’ of life, researching such topics as quantum physics and mechanics. He has been exceptionally keen on all matters aeronautical and is particularly interested in knowing how birds fly and how that knowledge could be translated into enabling man to fly independently. His spell in the RAF, 1944-46, allowed him to develop his love for first-principle flying and, as if to prove his enthusiasm, he has designed and built three flying machines in his life. His last aircraft, Buzzard, an all-wooden single-seater with a 210cc 2‑stroke engine, is currently being prepared for use as a training machine at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd.

It’s therefore not surprising that, besides the familiar cartoons featuring Bibendum in so many guises, Ernie has produced a vast number of drawings with an aeronautical theme. Such was the quality of his work that it featured in Aeromodeller magazine for over 16 years.

We plan to feature an Ernie drawing, or two, each month. It may be a cartoon, a poster, a children’s competition or a caricature. Whatever, the nature and style of the work is rich indeed and has given great pleasure to thousands of Michelin employees over the years. We hope you enjoy them!