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Diane Claire Gabbott née Baldwin


‘Diane was not only an inspirational person but a woman of mystery, as you would expect any Aero Girl to be.’
- Sarah Gabbott, daughter


Photographic study for painting of Diane c.1954-1961. Raymond Gabbott. By permission of Gabbott estate.

Photographic study for painting of Diane c.1954-1961. Raymond Gabbott. By permission of Gabbott estate.

Born in 1934, Diane Clare Baldwin was 19 years old when her Aero portrait was painted by Raymond Gabbott, an artist to whom she was engaged and would later marry.

'She is remembered by friends as, "high spirited, sweet natured and great fun". Diane loved the free-spirited world of art school and identified with the arts intellectuals of that era. With her dark good looks and stylish clothes, she bore a striking resemblance to the gamine actresses and models of the period.

Unlike some of the other Aero girls, Diane was not born a 'Society girl'. Her father owned a building firm in North London and Diane's mother had briefly worked hand-decorating premium chocolates before she was married, and was used as a hand model in advertisements for the same company.

Diane grew up during the Second World War and remembered going into bombed suburban streets to collect prized shards of shiny shrapnel. She read voraciously all her life and even worked for a while abridging fiction for magazines.

She studied dress design and illustration at Harrow School of Art, and it was there that she first noticed Raymond Gabbott. We remember her saying that, "all the girls were after him as he was good looking and had been in a high prestige regiment in the war". It was after he left Harrow that she met Raymond again, and the two eventually became engaged.

Diane worked as a costume jewellery designer in Covent Garden and later as an illustrator for Twinkle comic (Sally Sweet of Sunshine Street) and Tammy magazine.

After marrying, Diane and Raymond lived with Diane's parents at Kewferry Farm, Northwood before moving to Ramsgate in Kent. There they bought a seventeenth century 'Dutch' farmhouse and later, a Regency house overlooking the harbour'.

Diane Gabbott passed away in 2002

Words by the Gabbott family. Edited by Kerstin Doble

More about Diane Gabbott


Lambiek Comiclopedia Diane Gabbott. Retrieved 14 May 2014.

Ukcomics.wikia.com. Diane Gabbott. Retrieved 14 May 2014.

Portrait of Diane by Raymond Gabbott c. 1954-1961. By permission of Gabbott estate.

Portrait of Diane by Raymond Gabbott c. 1954-1961. By permission of Gabbott estate.


  • Photograph of Diane c. 1950. Raymond Gabbott. By permission of Gabbott estate.
  • Sally Sweet illustrations by Diane Gabbott, circa 1960.
    Twinkle & Sally Sweet © DC Thomson & Co. Ltd. Used By Kind Permission of DC Thomson & Co. Ltd
  • Illustrations by Diane Gabbott, Sally Sweet 1971.
    Twinkle & Sally Sweet © DC Thomson & Co. Ltd. Used By Kind Permission of DC Thomson & Co. Ltd
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