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Heated Gloves
A film by William English

All images: William English

no.w.here arts limited, first floor, 316 - 318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AG. Wednesday 22nd November 2017. Doors 6:45pm for a 7pm start, 10pm finish with discussion. £5 full, £3 concessions. Limited space, tickets must be booked in advance here.
Doors 6:45pm for a 7pm start, 10pm finish with discussion. £5 full, £3 concessions. Limited space, tickets must be booked in advance here.

Captain Maurice Seddon, an inventor and eccentric in the great English tradition, made electrically heated clothing for ‘paraplegics, sclerotics, arthritics, rheumatics, the poor and landscape painters’. The details of his extremely modest, uncompromising way of life are here unpicked through a rich weave of incredible archival TV appearances from around the world (he featured on amongst others the David Letterman show) plus very touching 16mm and mobile phone footage shot by his friend and director William English.


'I first met Maurice when I was a motorcycle despatch rider.

Riding slowly down Southampton Street, Covent Garden, I noticed an old BSA motorcycle, coated in oil and sprouting clumps of wires. The owner of the bike was standing, eating from a tin. He stood upright, proud and self-assured, with short silver grey hair. I stopped, made eye contact and there began a friendship which continued for over thirty years.

Over black leathers, he wore a tabard with silver lettering on an orange background, advertising “Heated Gloves and Clothing 07535 42242”. Noticing my interest, he handed me a badly photocopied leaflet, headed; “Captain Maurice Seddon (Royal Signals, retired), Audiorama Limited, wireless repairs undertaken (valve only), heated clothing supplied”, followed by a biographical sketch. He spoke cordially, and demonstrated how wires protruding from his sleeves and ankles could be plugged in to the motorbike which would then keep him warm whilst simultaneously heating up a tin of food.

Later, Maurice became a frequent visitor to the Dining Room, a vegetarian restaurant near to London Bridge which I ran with Sandra Cross from 1980 to 1990. He would enter theatrically, carrying an immense, oil-smeared, yellow plastic sack on his back. For about eight years he would eat and drink for free, talk to customers about heated clothing and take away surplus food which would be deposited in one of the numerous deep freezes in his garden in Datchet, to be consumed by him and his pack of dogs at some later date.
' - William English


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