Former England international fisherman, from North Walsham, to display paintings at Stalham exhibition

Artist and angler, Jim Randell.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Artist and angler, Jim Randell.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Ex-England international angler Jim Randell is set to reveal another talent at an event which opens this weekend.

Artist and angler, Jim Randell's painting of RAF Coltishall.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Artist and angler, Jim Randell's painting of RAF Coltishall.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

When Mr Randell's hands are not holding a fishing rod, the likelihood is they are wielding a paintbrush.

Artist and angler, Jim Randell.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Artist and angler, Jim Randell.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

For many years now he has been painting mostly fish - plus birds and, once, a jet over RAF Coltishall, always using acrylics on black velvet.

And on Saturday visitors to Stalham will be able to view some of his work at the 23rd annual art exhibition in the town's parish church, St Mary's.

It will feature among some 200 exhibits by 50 local artists, opening at 10am until 4pm on July 13.


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Mr Randell, 72, has been fishing since he was evacuated from wartime London to Cambridge, aged five, and was first introduced to the rural pastime.

Nowadays he fishes about four days a week, taking part in many competitions, and he also enjoys non-competitive fishing. About 30 years ago he represented his country in an international event in former Czechoslovakia, where England came second.

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Every year he and his wife Barbara stage a fishing competition in aid of the Cromer Lifeboat, sponsored by her employers, Jackson and Starling funeral services of North Walsham. This year's event, at Cobble Acre, near Hevingham, raised £800.

A former technical illustrator, he has worked for many of the biggest names in the car industry, including Ford, Volkswagen and Lotus.

His craft included highly-detailed pen-and-ink drawings illustrating how to dismantle and repair cars, and how to assemble them - they were posted at 10-yard intervals along the factory production lines.

Many years ago a fellow technical illustrator showed him paintings of dogs which he created on black velvet and then sold.

'I suddenly thought why don't I start doing this, but with fish?' said Mr Randell. However, he said he had always maintained a low profile as an artist.

'If I started to get too many orders I wouldn't be able to go fishing,' he explained.

The paintings are based on friends' photographs, photos in fishing magazines and his own expert knowledge and each work takes about two days to complete.

His exhibits at the Stalham display will be on sale for £90-£95 with commission going towards church funds. The event will also include refreshments and the artwork of local schoolchildren.

? Mr Randell is running short of the black nylon velvet he paints on. Anyone who knows where he can find more of the fabric, which must be able to take acrylic paint, is asked to contact him on 01692 503014.

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