Roberts often drew inspiration for figure compositions from the areas of London where he lived. Between 1946/7 and 1980 he lived in St Mark's Crescent, near Regent's Park. Here, especially on Sundays and bank holidays, the artist observed people engaged in leisure activities on and around the lake. The importance to Roberts of the relationship between figures and narrative can be gleaned in his 'Comments', (June 1964): 'Several years ago there was an advertisement that appeared in the newspapers that impressed me very much; it showed a man bending forward and clutching his back with one hand in a sudden gesture of agony; beneath the design were the words:
Every picture tells a story.'