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Artist gives Thetford Town Council a painting of its living history

Artist John Mayes hands Thetford Mayor Stuart Wright his painting of a Burrells showman's traction engine. ANL-140430-114958001

Artist John Mayes hands Thetford Mayor Stuart Wright his painting of a Burrells showman's traction engine. ANL-140430-114958001

Thetford artist John Mayes had been wondering what to do with his painting of a Burrells showman’s traction engine until someone suggested presenting it to the Town Council.

Last night the council voted unanimously to accept his offer after hearing the story behind it.

John, 83, had won the Spec’s Factory Sponsor’s Choice Artist award at Royal Norfolk Show in 2009 so was commissioned to paint something for the show’s 2010 programme cover.

“Thetford doesn’t often get represented there so I did this,” he said. “It’s called ‘A Thetford Legacy’.”

But John, who had relatives at Burrells’ Thetford factory, had a stroke and was unable to finish the painting in time.

He pointed out that the council has pictures of members of the Burrell family in its King’s Street offices but not of Burrells products.

“Here’s a great piece of heavy engineering,” he said. “It’s a piece of history — its’s living history. It’s yours if you want it.”

Mayor Stuart Wright accepted the painting on behalf of the council.

 

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