An Ealing artist who has been chosen to design the Christmas stamps has thanked the unknown teacher who kick started his career.
David Holmes, who has lived on Warwick Road since 1933, was chosen by the Royal Mail following recommendation from artist David Hillman.
The 82-year-old used his water colouring skills to paint six subjects, including The Nativity, Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, Shepherd's seeing an angel, The Three Wise Men, The Annunciation and a donkey with lamb.
But his art career began when a teacher at Little Ealing School for Boys, known only as "Mr Young", urged him to go to Ealing Technical College and School of Art in the 1950s, now the University of West London
Mr Holmes, who dedicates his achievement to "Mr Young", said: "When I was a little young boy there was this teacher called Mr Young, who was a pilot in the Battle of Britain.
"He saw something in me because I was good at art, because he was a crafts teacher, and he would say I had some talent.
"It was he who suggested I should go to Ealing Technical College and School of Art, and he got me into the college but I never went back to thank him and I think it was a rude and terrible thing.
"If he knew, because of him, I had been given the privilege (of designing stamps) he would be over the moon and I am trying to find out what his first name was."
He is now in the process of contacting all his ex-classmates and other related personnel in Ealing to trace down more information on the teacher to find out who he was.
"The proudest privilege in my career"
Mr Holmes was originally born in Cremorne Road, Chelsea, in 1933 before moving to Warwick Road in Ealing during the same year.
His career began at the advertising agency, Colman Prentis and Varley, Mayfair, in the 1950s and today continues to paint in his own studio in Camden.
The Royal Mail asked Mr Holmes for his interpretation on biblical stories, prompting him to place a strong emphasis on colour, with the help of son Toby Holmes who used his computer to transfer his water colour paintings online.
For the design, he used bocking ford water colouring paper, 425gm, and has described his selection as the greatest honour of his career.
He said: "I think this has to be the great accolade (in my career) because they could have chosen anyone in England.
"It is the proudest achievement in my career."
Mr Holmes was previously asked by Royal Mail to design stamps for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and has done work for The New Yorker, British Airways and Chelsea Flower Show.
Stamp strategy manager Phillip Parker, from Royal Mail, said: "He has had a very long career and for us, we found that because he was coming from an advertising background he was used to problem solving.
"Designing the small picture on a small stamp is a very challenging thing to do.
"He just has a fresh interpretation, we have been doing them (stamps) for more than 50 years so we were looking to have something new."