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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Kids2Dance Classess

First taster session free!

Mondays 9.30am at Tadcaster Children’s Centre, Manor Farm, LS24 8HA


Kids2Dance Advert KAT

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Body found in River Ouse identified



Body found in River Ouse identified


Signaller Tyler PearsonNorth Yorkshire Police can confirm that the body found in the River Ouse near Skeldergate Bridge on Thursday 17 April 2014 has been identified as missing soldier Tyler Pearson, aged 18.

Tyler’s family continue to be supported by specially trained officers from North Yorkshire Police and the Army at this extremely difficult time.

Tyler was last seen entering the River Ouse in the early hours of Thursday 3 April 2014.


Please see below comment from Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan


Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “My heart goes out to Tyler’s family, and I know the police will offer all the help and support the family need at this very difficult time.


“The recent spate of fatalities highlights the importance of staying safe near York’s rivers, particularly when alcohol has been consumed. Last month’s river safety summit concluded that the priority needs to be on prevention as well as response. Work is currently underway with groups across York and families of recent river victims to make some short films to highlight the dangers of the river.  In the longer term we will devise a sustained and powerful campaign to help prevent more lives being needlessly cut short. In addition to this, I am keen to facilitate vulnerability training, so those working in York’s night-time economy know who they can go to and what they can do to help keep vulnerable people safe.


“In the meantime, my plea to those enjoying York’s vibrant night life is clear and simple. Stay together, look after your friends, and plan the end of your night, not just the beginning.”

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Albion FC v Barton Town

Tadcaster Albion AFC


Free admission to watch the match between Tadcaster Albion AFC and Barton Town Old Boys…

Come on down and show your support for the local team

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Tadcaster Art Exhibition 2014

his will be the biggest and best art exhibition which has been displayed in many years, it may also be some time before it is repeated so you may want to make a note in your diary for these dates…

Preview Evening – Friday 11th April 2014 from 7PM

Gallery Showings from 12th April to 3rd May 2014

If you’d like a catalogue of the art on display including prices for the works which are for sale please call in to Gallery 42, St Joseph Street, Tadcaster, LS24 9HA.


Tadcaster art exhibition


Mr L.S. Lowry

LSLowry-photoLaurence Stephen Lowry was born in Rusholme, Manchester, in November 1887, the only child of Irish-born R S Lowry and Elizabeth Lowry (née Hobson). He attended a local school in Victoria Park, but took private lessons from William Fitz, before starting work as a clerk for a firm of chartered accountants in 1904.

From 1905-1915 he attended drawing and painting classes at the Municipal College of Art (later Manchester College of Art, and now part of Manchester Metropolitan University), where he was tutored by Adolphe Valette.

Lowry moved to Pendlebury in Salford with his parents in 1909, where he was to live for nearly 40 years. During this time he attended art classes at Salford School of Art, developing an interest in the urban and industrial landscape. He exhibited with the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts from 1919, as well as entering paintings in the Paris Salon.

By the early 1930s he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded an honorary MA at Manchester University in 1945, and Doctor of Letters in 1961, elected to the Royal Academy in 1962, and given freedom of the City of Salford in 1965.

He lived in Mottram until he died in 1976 – a death marked by unprecedented homage by the ‘ordinary people’ of Manchester.

L.S. Lowry is unquestionably one of the most celebrated British artists and his unique contribution to recording the period, culture and landscape of industrial Salford and Manchester is without parallel. His work is a most distinctive and comprehensive record of the pre and post World War Two northern industrial town.

Many people associate Lowry with “matchstick men”, but he is known to have produced over 10,000 works, ranging from finished oil paintings to hastily drawn sketches. The local industrial scene was his most frequent subject but he also painted seascapes and portraits. He was a great humorist and had intense insight into human nature, characterising it without sentiment.

Later in his life he concentrated on producing paintings of figures either singly or in groups, invariably against a white background. He also produced thousand of pencil drawings during his lifetime, these are now very collectable and the best ones are incredibly detailed.

Lowry died without a registered doctor, leading the galleries a merry dance. Hoping to inherit a few paintings in his will, they courted him in his old age only to find he had left them all to a girl, also called Lowry, who had written him a letter years before, asking how she could become an artist.

Lowry’s status as one of the major British artists of the 20th Century was reinforced when the painting “Going To The Match” was sold at Auction for a record £1.9 million to the Manchester-based Professional Footballers Association.

Manchester’s premier gallery, The Lowry Centre in Salford Quays, now holds a major collection of his work.


Lowry,_Huddersfield lowry Punch and Judy 1943 by L.S. Lowry 1887-1976







Allen Tortice


torticeAllen Tortice was born to a mining family in what was at the time the heart of the industrial northeast. One of eight children, he was educated at the local village school, after which he had a number of jobs including, like his father, going down the mines, and later, a brief spell in the army. He also attended Wakefield College to study mining engineering, but left to join the Army (R.E.M.E) where he won the cross rifles on his first shoot.

Many jobs followed but he started painting seriously in 1987, and had his first one-man exhibition the same year, which was a sell out on the first day. He had four more exhibitions after this in Leeds, Harrogate and Blackpool.

Allen has always been drawn to the industrial landscapes, feeling that these are disappearing fast, and he tries to capture them before the past is gone forever. He thinks we must not forget our industrial heritage, for that is what made us great.

Allen found out late in life that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. He knew he was different but didn’t know why. He describes his feelings:

“I was bursting inside to express myself and found that art was my only friend”.

His inspiration has been to capture the essence of our country, for this is what he feelsis his being. “I believe part of the city can produce powerful images, in the hands of a professional artist”.

Gradually he developed his own style of painting, allowing him vividly to express the atmosphere of the industrial landscape, which is so familiar to him. The stark reality of his subject matter is contrasted by its nostalgic charm and the method of its portrayal.

Not only has Allen a keen following for his paintings, but also he has developed much interest in his poetry, written on the back of his watercolors. They take us back through much of Allen’s childhood experiences and of those who grew up around him.

Allen has had a number of one-man exhibitions around the country, and his work has been featured on television.

scotsman_tortice tortice-ardsley tortice-schoolyard






Brian Shields


brian shields - braaqBrian Shields (1951–1997) was a Liverpool born English painter. He is best known for painting industrial scenes of northern Britain. He acquired the nickname “Braaq” in his school days — on account of his artistic talent he was nicknamed “Braque” after the French artist Georges Braque, a misspelling then transformed Braque into Braaq. He was the fourth child of a large family (12 siblings), his father Dennis Shields was an established artist, one of his brothers, also Dennis, is a Lanarkshire (Coatbridge) based sculptor and painter.

He held his first exhibition in 1974. In 1977 he was invited to hold four exhibitions in London and at this time was described by The Times as “one of the six most successful artists in England.”The Liverpool Echo described him as “Liverpool’s Lowry” ,referring to the similarity in style between his work and that of L. S. Lowry.

In the late 1970s Braaq’s sister, Ann, died at the young age of 20. In memory of her, many of his subsequent paintings are signed with both his signature and “Ann”. Also several of his pictures show graffiti “Agnes”, this is in tribute to his mother. He is also known for painting himself into many of his works as a young boy wearing a black and white striped jumper. Apparently the jumper being the only “new” item of clothing he ever remembered receiving as a young boy.

Most of his working life was spent in Harrogate, initially as a trainee chef. He was “discovered” when murals he painted on the walls of a Harrogate hotel where he worked caused quite a stir and for several weeks there was a search in the local papers for this talented artist. It is generally accepted that this was a planned publicity stunt. Although successful as a living artist it seems he was often faced with financial problems. It is certainly the case that he is well remembered and liked in the Harrogate district and there are numerous anecdotes about painting pub signs for use of facilities; saving to buy a sports car from the local dealer – Harrogate Horseless Carriage as well as getting helping hands throughout his career.

His paintings are well collected and sell for a considerable value, a local Harrogate auction house Morphets, specialises in his paintings and provide a listing of previously auctioned pictures. Brian was made bankrupt toward the end of his career. He died of a brain haemorrhage.

In the Final Bonhams Auction at Chester on 21 November 2013, 4 Brian shields (Braaq) paintings sold for a combined sum of almost £75,000, proving once again the Investment potential and the great love for this artist keeps increasing almost 17 years after his untimely death.

braaq-golf Braaq-street winter_landscape-braaq






G. W. Birks


g w birksGeoffrey Woolsey Birks was born in Leeds, Yorkshire. He attended Bradford College of Art for 2 years as a full-time student and studied privately in the tuition of F.C. Jones RA. He worked mainly in the textile trade in the industrial towns of Yorkshire and the North of England, rising to the position of Production Director.

Realising that the Northern industrial scene was in decline along with its inherent characters, and skyline, he decided to capture some of these fast disappearing aspects of the past. In doing so he ‘caught’ the humour and atmosphere of the Northern character both in the people and landscape. His ‘trade mark’ being his version of a black cat, Whiskers, which appears somewhere in all his pictures.

He was an internationally recognised artist, having exhibited his work in the U.K, Canada, U.S.A, Australia and South Africa. His work is listed on The Art sales Index and has sold successfully at auction in the UK and Canada.

After a long fight against cancer throughout which he continued business as usual, he died at his home in Pudsey in December 1993.

His legacy is the unique way in which he recorded a ‘fast disappearing way of life’.

birks_geoffrey_back_yardsoutside_toilets birks_geoffrey-coronation_street gw-birks-call thasen a tradesman








David Markham


david markhamA Lancastrian by birth – David J Markham currently lives and works in North Yorkshire. Primarily adopting ink and watercolour as his medium of choice – his distinctive line work and use of colour has attracted interest nationwide. Buckingham Fine Arts publish him nationally and the Frogmore Press have adopted him for two of their forthcoming publications in 2012.

His interest lies in architecture. David brings the buildings to life in his own distinctive and unique style. Profoundly influenced by his boyhood days – being raised within walking distance of Victorian Cotton Mills – his style incorporates all types of building materials – from red brick to stone and steel.

The urgency of the paintings reflects an “edgy” approach designed to capture the nature of his preferred subject matter, as simply and purely as is possible. Splashes of colour abound as the painting takes shape. They are an integral part of the painting and there is always order – despite the liberal “characteristic” splashes which are evident.

68Went-Farm minster-david-markham red-house-david-markham










Tom Brown


Tom Brown was born in Salford and trained at Salford College of Art before becoming a Commercial Artist in the Manchester area.

Tom held his first one-man exhibition at Salford Art Gallery in the early 1970’s, since then he has had several successful exhibitions in Salford and other Galleries. His paintings are now in private collections in many countries. He works mainly in pastel as this medium enables him to achieve more subtle tones.

tom-brown-knife-grinder tom-brown-open-all-hours tom-brown-winter-fayre








Tom Dodson


tom dodsonTom Dodson was born in Salford, son of a labourer and eldest of five children. A typical working class Lancashire family in an age where hard times and humour often went hand in hand.

As a schoolchild the young Thomas Dodson was always top of the class in drawing and could often be found filling the pavements around his backstreet Ordsall home with chalk drawings of the local characters.

But the North of England was a hard place where poverty ruled and art was for the rich. The three R’s were more important, so the young Tom forgot about his pencils and paints and, at the tender age of 14, left school and started working in the grocery trade. He learned all there was to know, and more besides, before moving on to curing and rolling bacon. There were other jobs in industry and up to his retirement Tom spent several happy years as a school caretaker.

After Tom retired he had time on his hands. Soon his quick sketches gave way to more serious works and it wasn’t long before Tom found himself in artistic demand.

Tom Dodson could recall with great clarity the images of childhood; images of the classroom, the scrapes and games, the gas lit corner shop, pumping the organ at St. Clement’s Church, the rousing bands at the Whitsuntide walks and the gruelling five mile trek to work. So many images, impressions and memories.

Tom Dodson didn’t ‘create’ a style, he didn’t have to. He painted naturally and his work is all the better for its lack of edge and affectation. Tom Dodson’s Lancashire scenes of the 1920’s and 30’s are a world away from those of his contemporaries. Tom may paint a mill or fairground, a backyard or a Lancashire slop stone, but in each and every one is a simplicity and down to earth observation combined with a vibrant energy and humour.

When Tom’s first exhibition was held all those years ago, every work was bought within hours. Tom Dodson had arrived and with glowing praise from the art critics. Since then the enthusiasm and demand for this Lancashire artist’s pictures and prints has grown, as has his reputation.

tom-dodson tom-dodson-snow-street tom-dodson-street







Margaret Clarkson
margaret clarksonMargaret lived and trained in Rotherham England then at Bromley College of Art in Kent and was an art teacher for many years in South Yorkshire. She has had several exhibitions throughout the North, with her pictures featured in regional and national magazines. Commissions have included book illustrations, designs for greeting cards, and prints for the York Theatre Royal restoration fund.

She is probably best known for her detailed nostalgic scenes based on her childhood. Remembering the pace and detail of growing up in the 1940s and ’50s, she has produced a number of original paintings and limited edition prints depicting everyday life, in a style that is delightfully reminiscent of those post – war days.
















Below are just a few photos from The Tadcaster Art Exhibition 2014.

I can honestly say that the preview night was a great success, people came from miles around to view a range of paintings by current artists and limited edition copies of earlier artists. During the evening I was introduced to the very talented artist David Markham who informed me that he will be having a showing at Gallery 42 later this year.


The evening was also supporting Opt in – the Overseas Partnering and Trainee Initiative


The OPT IN mission is simple; to share the knowledge and skills of our health care staff with partner hospitals in a number of developing countries.

The aim is to deliver training which will result in sustained improvements in the health services in the partner country so improving the health of its population. The agenda for this training is based on local needs and is defined by our partners.

To do this we need resources of people and funds.

To find out how to get involved either through fundraising or joining a project click Here

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