Date Posted: 28th September 2020

I’ve been making another video from the wardrobe. It’s getting to be a habit.  This time it’s about 2 paintings of a fish and chip shop in Cleator Moor and  the story of Lowry’s connections with West Cumbria.   Click on the link to access it.   It is 40 minutes so settle down and relax.   

So I’ve been hanging  out in Cleator Moor - no crazy tourists there for sure. It definitely isn’t a tourist destination but it appealed to L S lowry. It was his sort of town.    The video goes on to look at more work he did in Silloth,  Maryport and Parton (he actually did one of the Moot Hall in Keswick which I sold in my big Lowry exhibition at Castlegate House in 2002).  It pulls together the other 2 major Cumbrian artists of that time; Sheila Fell and Percy Kelly and their links with Lowry. It is interesting to see how  these artists looked at the same thing and portrayed it differently; - Take Christchurch which dominates the Maryport quayside. Lowry saw it as a stark black church with a few figures going about their business: Fell  saw it as brown - painting in a loose freestyle way and Kelly used bright red to reflect the red sandstone with which it was built but showed it devoid of human life to preserve the pure geometric shapes.   The church has been unused for more than a decade – possibly 2 - and has been threatened with demolition several times. This would be a tragedy as it balances out the whole scene around the harbour. It also has an historic clock donated to the town by Thomas Ismay owner of the White Star Line. His son Bruce Ismay was a survivor of the maiden voyage of the Titanic.  If this iconic church was demolished and, heaven forbid, be replaced with housing it would ruin the whole vista.   I joined the protests at the time and advised a listing in a letter to the local paper to secure this historic building.

 I completed the video last Thursday and sent it off for a video link (that’s the line of unintelligible hieroglyphics above which magically allows you access).  Next day Michael walked in with the local newspaper with the headline HISTORIC CHURCH GETS GRADE II  LISTING. How weird is that?  I never thought it would happen.  So that is the happy addendum to the story.  If only I’d known that a day earlier it would have made a perfect ending to my story. I will update the video in due course

I have heard that some of you have been into Keswick Museum now it is open again and have asked to see the Redpath collection. (the subject of my 1st video Rosalie’s Bequest  Their museum’s researcher/volunteer Margaret Martindale or one of the other wonderful volunteers will be happy to show you if you telephone the museum in advance. (017687 73263)

The Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh have highlighted  Anne Redpath on facebook in a series  showing some of Scotland’s finest artists.. They have examined them to uncover what makes each work so special and reveal some of the stories behind them. This series is part of The Scottish National Gallery Project.  Links to the page should be at the following:

There are so many more paintings with stories to tell that I could go on until the end of time. I’m already working on the next one – it is in my head right now.- on line next month.


 Thanks to Sal and Tony Calvin for their preliminary trawl round Cleator Moor on their bikes gleaning lots of useful information for me.  I do like to hear from you with comments and more information. I still have some kelly’s for sale (look in the section marked GALLERY and the the box marked FOR SALE.) There are a few new ones in the pipeline – I will let you know when they arrive and when it is safe to show them to you.