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These photographs were taken over the last weeks of Alex Wards life. Alex was an octogenarian car dealer. He was a gregarious rogue with a magnetic character.
Alex Ward was born in 1919 to Harold George Ward, HM Chief Inspector of Taxes and died on June 27th 2003. During his teens he sported a top hat and tails at Westminster School for Boys, and in his twenties he moved to Cornwall with his friend Charles Menzinger. In an attempt to live as simple farmers they bought a cow and named her Doscowevsky. Alex then fell in love with the silent movie Goddess Virginia Bradford, who had previously dated both Charlie Chaplin and Einstein, or so she always claimed. Virginia insisted that she could never marry an uneducated man, so Alex went up to Oxford University in 1947 to complete a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Having milked Doscowevsky for all she was worth, the three of them discovered that property fraud was far more lucrative. Virginia and Charles went to jail for 3 years while Alex, always pleased by pretty women, had a child with a beautiful young maiden named Joy. Outraged, Virginia informed Oxford from her cell in Holloway that they had an incestuous pupil on their hands. Alex was hauled in front of the Dean to explain that Joy was in fact Virginia’s niece, not his. He went on to marry three more times and had three children out of wedlock. In his 80’s, without a woman, Alex often claimed to be the abandoned Father.
In his late 20’s Alex discovered that, after women, few things pleased a man more than a car, and it was this epiphany that led him to his next cash cow. Charles and Virginia were released from jail, and together they set up in the used car business. Alex continued in this profession until the day that he died and still reigns as the oldest car dealer to visit the Chelmsford car auction each week. Three of his four sons joined him in the business and together they operated from No.18 Hercules Street in Holloway, North London, surrounded by adopted sons, lodgers, and mechanics.