Double delight as railway works of art go on show

By Geoff Courtney

TWO exhibitions of paintings by some of the country’s leading railway artists are currently delighting visitors to Locomotion in Shildon and Kidderminster Railway Museum.

The exhibition at Locomotion, which comprises 28 works by Christine Pulham, is a ‘first’ for both the museum and the artist, with the County Durham museum staging a display by just one artist, and it is also Chris’ solo debut.

It opened to the public on August 19, and among those who attended the launch were representatives of the National Railway Museum and the prestigious Guild of Railway Artists, of which Chris is a full member.

Work of art: A happy Chris Pulham among the paintings in her solo exhibition at Locomotion Museum on opening day, August 19. On display to the left is a late-1940s scene from York North shed titled Shed bunking, depicting two trainspotters at the doorway summoning up courage to enter as they admire the A1 and A4 Pacifics and a V2 inside. The painting on the right is Lion – the pride of Beamish, featuring Beamish colliery draught horse Lion pulling a coal wagon through the pit yard, a scene which Chris says in her exhibition notes would long ago have been an everyday event in the Durham coalfields. Behind the artist is Class 7F ‘Super D’ 0-8-0 No. 9395 (BR No. 49395), built at the LNWR Crewe works in June 1921 as No. 485, withdrawn in November 1959, and preserved as part of the National Collection. ROB PULHAM

Some of the paintings on display are available for sale, and the first purchase came within hours of the opening. This work was titled The last autumn 1927, and depicted a Wisbech & Upwell Tramway locomotive in the final months of the passenger service on this idiosyncratic East Anglian line.

Chris’ exhibition came about after she and her husband Rob, who is publicity officer for the artists’ guild, visited Locomotion last year. “Chris thought how she might like an exhibition of her work there, so I contacted one of the duty managers, who was really enthusiastic,” said Rob, while Chris described the occasion as “surreal, as if it’s all happening to some else”.

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