LONG-TIME Chronicle cartoonist Barrie Hawkins’ creations have kept readers’ spirits up throughout the pandemic.

His tongue-in-cheek depictions of life since Covid-19 took hold in March 2020 have appeared weekly, finding the humour with the so-called ‘new normal’.

Barrie, of Chedworth Close, Darton, first started experimenting with oil paints and water colours when he was a teenager but was then called up to complete National Service.

Having first had his work published in the Chronicle in 1959, the 84-year-old said periods of national lockdown inspired his creativity.

Barrie said: “I was able to use it as my main source of motivation, seeing it as a positive rather than a negative.

“The pandemic actually enabled me to crack on and create even more illustrations and bring out the humorous and jokey side of it through my cartoons.

"I've been drawing cartoons since my late teens but only as a hobby, not as a professional, and my association with the Chronicle.

“Although, I did consider it when I came out of National Service but I got married and then one thing and another happened.

“Drawing definitely gives me something to focus on and enjoy.”