Painting sketched in Costessey pub set to fetch �250,000 at auction

A painting sketched in a Costessey pub is set to fetch �250,000 at auction – 100 years after the artist Sir Alfred Munnings sat in the beer garden.

Munnings was relaxing with friends at The Bush pub on The Street in Costessey when two minstrels came into the garden and started singing. He then dashed off the picture – titled Somewhere The Sun Is Shining, named after the song the minstrels were singing.

The oil painting is expected to sell for between �250,000 to �350,000 at Sotheby's in London on May 10.

Landlord Gary Wilson said the pub garden was not recognisable from the painting now, unlike another Munnings' work called the Horse Sale painted outside The Bush, which Mr Wilson has a print of hanging in the pub.

He said: 'I'll possibly get a copy of this one as well.

'There is a link and an interest with the pub.'

The scene shows two of Munnings' friends, Gerald Stone and Thomas Case, in the garden.

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But the honeysuckle in the painting has now gone and the garden looks onto a bowling green.

Munnings later wrote in his autobiography: 'Quite by chance, just as I was starting to work, two strolling singers turned up.

'She was singing the popular song of the day, 'Somewhere The Sun Is Shining'. There was a soothing, idle holiday atmosphere about its garden.'

Munnings moved to Norfolk from Suffolk when he was 14 to work as an apprentice at the Norwich lithographers, Page Brothers.

He attended Norwich School of Art in his spare time and the record for one of his paintings is �7.8m.

Sotheby's said: 'The painting was executed with great spontaneity.'

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Tom Bristow on 01603 772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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