With the help of Robert Forsythe, I have added a Facebook page on railway carriage prints. Do have a look and contribute if you would like to. The Facebook page is RailwayCarriagePrints or go to www.facebook.com/RailwayCarriagePrintsRecent customers of my fine-art carriage prints have been the Llangollen Railway, http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk who are renovating two of their ER suburban coaches and replacing old faded prints with a wide range of local views using reproduction prints from TAG. I have also helped the Hull & Barnsley Stock Fund with original fittings for one of their coaches. I wish both every success in their ventures. I have put a couple of pieces of original Southern Railway poster artwork on the TAG website including an unseen painting of the art deco swimming pool at Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex by Verney Danvers from the 1930s http://www.travellingartgallery.com/landscape/print/merchdetail/SA04.html It survived in an attic with a painting of Ramsgate by Danvers and Kenneth Shoesmith. Both were in the attic in a house in Sussex, when it was struck by lightning, which blew the fuse box out of the building!! The SR poster of Ramsgate has turned up in the past but the Bexhill image has still not surfaced, probably due to the destruction of many SR posters at Waterloo in the 1960s and 70s, when clearing out the bill offices (I was there at the time, but too shy to ask whether I could have any!). If anyone has seen the poster do let me know. Have had stands recently at the Bluebell Railway Collector’s Fair, Great Central Railway Auctions and Sheffield Railway Auctions and good to meet old faces and introduce railway and commercial art to new customers and those interested in the genre. The interest in the skill and styles of the mid-20th century artists is certainly growing and more people are collecting artwork and prints, including investors. I also hope to be able to have a stand at some Art Fairs next year, where the art world is starting to take notice of commercial art, and have applied for a stand at the National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC later this year – still no response to several of my emails! Keith Archer & Mick Thompson very kindly sent me photographs of Hull, Victoria Dock (or the site of) as it is now, just before the only remaining feature, a large grain tower (visible on the left), was demolished. Almost everything was bombed in the war, including Drypool Church, which features in the painting – see http://www.travellingartgallery.com/landscape/print/detail/L304.html. The whole area is now an industrial estate.
I managed to get out a few times and photograph some carriage print locations on my travels but the weather has been poor and the visits have normally turned into reconnaissance exercises. Visited Portsmouth Harbour during the 175th anniversary of the P&O cruise liners at Southampton Docks (superb array of their 7 liners from the boat, ‘Balmoral’ on the waterfront!) and worked out the viewing point of the artists for a couple of the images, but must return to photo them sometime when it’s not raining! Also visited Blaneau Ffestiniog and worked out the vantage point for this dramatic view – http://www.travellingartgallery.com/landscape/print/detail/L417.html – after climbing to the top of a slate mountain, whereupon I was attacked by midges. As I have said previously, finding these viewpoints can be a dangerous exercise. The actual viewpoint is not easy to get to and, again, I shall return to photograph this view for one of the series of ‘then and now’ books I am working on. I called in on the ‘Middy’ (Mid Suffolk Light Railway) last week and was made most welcome, thanks Keith & Stuart. They have sold quite a few of my reproductions and are genuine connoisseurs of East Anglian fine art. I shall be adding more artwork for sale on my website in the next few weeks, mostly artwork un-related to the railways by the railway poster and carriage print artists, but some quality work, nonetheless. Wishing all viewers a great remainder of the summer (?) and congratulations to Team GB. We may not have excelled at my favourite game, table tennis, but a superb effort otherwise.