John triumphs again as railway artists display their talent

By Geoff Courtney

More than 1000 visitors to the Guild of Railway Artists’ annual Railart exhibition took part in a vote to select their favourite painting among the 61 on show, with the winner being a night-time, oil-on-canvas scene at Lichfield Trent Valley.

It was the work of John Austin, a fellow of the guild and its president, which gained 202 of the 1045 votes cast.

A steamy night: LMS Princess Royal No. 46208 Princess Helena Victoria heads a down Liverpool express through Lichfield Trent Valley station in a painting by John Austin that was voted the public’s favourite at the Guild of Railway Artists’ annual Railart exhibition at Kidderminster Railway Museum. Also in the painting are Class 7F 0-8-0 No. 49432 and Patriot No. 45524 Blackpool.

The work enabled John to keep up his amazing record of having won the public’s vote in 22 out of the past 23 annual exhibitions. It depicts LMS Princess Royal No. 46208 Princess Helena Victoria on a down Liverpool express under a dark and brooding sky.

Also in the painting are Class 7F 0-8-0 No. 49432, heading homeward to Nuneaton (2B) shed, while Patriot No. 45524 Blackpool is at the platform on a down parcels train. Other popular works were by David Noble, Philip Hawkins and Stephen Warnes, with the top water-based painting by Gerald Broom – ‘A3 over the Tyne.’

The exhibition was held at Kidderminster Railway Museum throughout September.

Anna Bastin, the guild’s exhibition administrator, who received much acclaim from members for her role in setting up the exhibition, said: “We attracted seasoned attendees as well as new visitors of all ages, and many of them enjoyed taking part in the voting. A regular comment was they couldn’t decide which to vote for as they liked them all, which was very complimentary.”

Of the exhibition, Anna said: “It was very well received, and it was sad to have to dismantle it on October 1.”

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