Golden age of steam captured by Sheringham artist’s brushstrokes
- Credit: Archant
They were the golden days of steam captured in painstaking brushstrokes.
Smoke-belching trains trundle through misty fields under big Norfolk skies.
Locos sit at stations - quiet rural halts and big city passenger palaces - ready for the journey ahead.
The reminders of rail travel 1950s style are featured in a collection of paintings by Sheringham-based artist Wrenford Thatcher.
Images include Norwich Thorpe and Cromer High stations in the 1950s, to London's Liverpool Street depicted during the Second World War and Sheringham station pictured before its goods yard became the town car park.
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Mr Thatcher developed a passion for steam trains growing up at Cromer, where both grandfathers were engine drivers.
He won his first painting competition at the age of four and, as a sick child who spent numerous spells in hospital, developed a passion for watching, photographing and painting trains which endured into adulthood.
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'I have painted every place I have ever been to, from Scotland, to London,' he said. 'I'll sit on the station for hours and get a real feel for the place.'
He lists among his inspirations Turner and Canaletto and says that, in spite of taking up to eight months to complete one of his painstakingly accurate pictures, he never tires of trains.
'I never do get bored, I never paint exactly the same scene twice and it is always a case for me of wanting to capture what I picture in my mind and not being satisfied until it is perfect,' he explained.
His first solo exhibition is at the Picturecraft Gallery in Holt, from November 13.
It also marks the launch of Mr Thatcher's second book, Caught on Canvas, published by Halsgrove, which includes more than 100 paintings, as well the artist's own railway memories and detailed descriptions of the locomotives he has been inspired by.
The former university lecturer and inventor in the electronics industry is semi-retired to pursue his love of art.
His railway paintings now fetch up to £3,000 with sales as far away as the United States.
The art show is at The Gallery, Picturecraft, Lees Yard, Holt from November 13-18. Call 01263 711040 or visit www.wrenfordthatcher.com or www.railwaypaintings.co.uk
Mr Thatcher will be signing copies of The Railway Paintings of Wrenford J Thatcher, Caught on Canvas, on November 13 from 9am-5pm. The book (priced £24.99) is available from amazon.co.uk, from www.halsgrove.com or from Picturecraft.