Monday, 12 March 2012

News - Painting of Trent is back in village 250 years later (Gunthorpe)

AN 18th-century painting spotted on eBay has been bought by a group of parish councillors in a Notts village for £600.

With the help of a £400 donation from county councillor Andy Stewart, Gunthorpe parish councillors paid for the oil painting out of their own pockets and said it was a "present to the village".

Mr Stewart said: "I think it was a lucky spot on eBay and the councillors themselves seized the opportunity.
"I love history and anything historic has got to be worthwhile.

"It's an original painting of the river that's way over 200 years old."

The picture depicts a landscape scene of the banks of the River Trent at Gunthorpe in 1755.

The area is still a popular tourist attraction and the painting – which is to be permanently hung in Gunthorpe Church of England Primary School – shows the land surrounding what is now the Unicorn Hotel.

The picture is signed by the artist Henry Ellis, who is believed to have been a church warden in the nearby village of Shelford.

Councillor Cam Pearson spotted the picture being sold on eBay and fellow councillor Peter Platten travelled to a museum warehouse in Portsmouth to pick it up.

The councillors also paid for it to be restored – which took the total amount they spent on the project to more than £1,000.

On Saturday, the picture was unveiled to local people in a ceremony attended by Notts County Council chairman Keith Walker at the Biondis Bistro, in Trentside, in the village.

Mr Platten said: "Cam Pearson did a wonderful job of organising the unveiling it was attended by a lot of people."

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