AN historic oil painting of the Thames Estuary has recently been restored from funds raised at the Leigh Heritage Centre in Leigh Old Town.
Archivists Ed and Jennifer Simpson raised half the funds through the sale of items in the Heritage Centre, whilst the other half was met by The Trustees of the Heritage Centre.
The picture depicts boats out in the Estuary, and was painted in 1899 by the local artist Harvey Moore in his studio behind Ivy Cottage on Leigh Hill.
Not only is it an historic work from and of Leigh, but it also links to the ecclesiastical history of the town, being dedicated to the artist’s friend Canon Walker King, on the occasion of his birthday.
Jennifer explains: “Canon Walker King lived in what is now Leigh Library, previously the Rectory.
“Two members of the King family were Rectors of Leigh for a period of 90 years, until Canon Robert Stuart King died in 1950.”
The painting came into the ownership of the Heritage Centre back in 2017, as Jennifer explains: “When the book Letters from Leigh was published, we had the pleasure of meeting several of King’s descendants.
“David King, the grandson of the Canon, donated several items to the archives, one of which was the seascape.”
Karl Swinyard Alston BA(Hons) MFA, Slade School of Art Picture Restoration and Gilding Service, in London carried out the work of cleaning off the soot and grease from the oil painting, and attaching it to an acid free backing to protect the original board.
He also glazed it with UV glass, and cleaned the gilded frame and inner mount.
“This lovely painting with its historic connection to Leigh can now be seen in the Heritage Centre,” adds Jennifer.