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2020 Calendar competition winners announced

Memories of childhood and lost industry were the inspiration behind the winning entry for a popular calendar competition, organised by The Wrekin Housing Group in partnership with Telford College.

Pictured: Winner Dave Hughes

David Hughes from Brookside, Telford, created a stunning oil painting, which now adorns the front cover of the Wrekin Housing Group’s 2020 calendar. His work, along with pieces produced by 11 other artists, which feature inside the calendar, were unveiled at a special event on Tuesday 12th November at the college’s Orange Tree restaurant.

The theme for this year’s competition was the inspiration of where they live. Speaking about his painting, Mr Hughes, aged 56, said: “The Coalport canal and the bottom of the Blists Hill inclined plane are both remnants of an industrial age that once dominated this landscape. Having lived in the area all my life, I am interested in what was here before us, such as the railways, canals and past industry. That area was my playground growing up and it has a lot of memories for me.

“I originally took a photo of that scenery while out with a walking group, and then a few weeks later we heard about this competition and I decided to produce a painting based on that photo.

“I’ve always been artistic but never took it seriously until I lost my dad 13 years ago. My dad loved trains so I began with water colours and painted Arley Station, on the Severn Valley Railway line. There is a memorial bench at the station for him.

“When I lost my mum I did a painting of Lake Vyrnwy as it’s somewhere we used to go as kids. That was my first oil painting. For me painting became a way to clear my head, particularly after losing my parents.”

Wayne Gethings, Chief Executive of The Wrekin Housing Group, said: “Congratulations to all of our competition winners. We were delighted to receive so many brilliant entries from professional and amateur artists, to community groups, college students and schools. Showcasing the places we live and work in such a creative way has made our 20th calendar extra special.

“I also appreciate the support from Telford College, not just with helping to organise the competition, but also for hosting the exhibition. Particular praise should go to the students who handled the catering for the launch event.”

Ed Thomas, Group Head of Marketing and Communications, at The Wrekin Housing Group, added: “We’re delighted that for the first time this year we are selling additional copies of the calendar for £5 with all proceeds going to charity. This year we have selected Macmillan Cancer Research as our chosen charity, they do fantastic work all year round supporting those affected by cancer.

“Copies of the calendar are available from Wrekin Housing Trust offices around Telford and Wrekin, in Shrewsbury and in Stafford, as well as from the Furniture Scheme in Ludlow, Reviive in Shrewsbury and Oswestry, and The Northfield Centre in Stafford.”

The exhibition is open to the public today (Wednesday 13th), Thursday 14th, and Friday 15th November from 12pm–3pm, and on Saturday 16th November from 10am– 12pm.

13th November 2019