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|‘Nosey Bob’ Howard (1832-1906)
On a balmy afternoon disaster struck. Nosey Bob’s Horse had kicked him in the face causing his nose to completely implode. Disfigured & numb, Bob became alienated from society. His successful cabby business in ruins as his clients fled at the sight of him.
After battling unemployment, Bob decided to take the unfavorable job as the state hangman. His 60+ hangings throughout Australia and New Zealand did not help his already miserable social status. Although he did pick up the nickname ‘The Gentleman Hangman’ for his kind and professional attitude to the job.
Living on the fringe of the city at Ben Buckler Point, Bob enjoyed his days in Bondi gardening, raising pigs and shark-hunting. Once a shark had taken his baited hook, nosey would wrangle the shark by the tail, tie it with rope and have his horse hoist it up the beach. His impressive shark tooth and skeleton collection was seen decorating the exterior of his home.
Bob had a real thirst for beer and was occasionally seen at the pub. The general rule for all publicans was to smash any glass that Bob had put his void of a nose into. The estrangement continued so Bob trained his horse to walk to the pub, carry a beer on his back and return it to the safe haven of his timber beach shack. .
Works relating to Nosey Bob have were featured in 'People and The Landscape' Bondi Pavilion Gallery, December 2014. Rude Assembly III, Burton Street Gallery 2019 and the Waverley Art Prize 2019.