9 months ago

This England

This England is the quarterly magazine for all who love our green and pleasant land and are unashamedly proud of their English roots. Published since 1968 the magazine has now become one of England’s best loved magazines and has a readership of over 115,000 people from around the world. As well as being popular in England it outsells all other British heritage magazines in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and is sent to readers in every country of the world. Published in Cheltenham, in the heart of picturesque Gloucestershire, the magazine is edited, printed and despatched direct from England. Subscribe today and celebrate all that is best about England and the English way of life.

About as patriotic as

About as patriotic as one can get! Two wartime Hurricanes fly over The Needles, a series of chalk stacks off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight. Born 60 years ago in a small terraced house at Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne in Co. Durham, John Lowerson’s family then moved to nearby Leam Lane, one of the newest and largest ever council-built estates. On reaching maturity he went to college in Lancaster before teaching art and design for further education students in Manchester. An MA in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University followed which saw him teaching in that area before working in forensic occupational secure therapy units for Nottinghamshire NHS. When interviewed at the time about his art he admitted to making life-size cardboard Daleks and several plywood kayaks! Sculpture, as well as furniture design and manufacture were also on the menu. Asked if any of his paintings could be found in public places he disclosed that the French oil company, ELF, had once bought an abstract canvas for the reception area of their head office in Cheshire. However, he thought it was more to do with the colour scheme matching their logo than the excellence of the work in question! Like many artists, John’s unique style is based on his previous life and experience. During the Second World War his father piloted Lancaster bombers out of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and he readily admits to a distinct nostalgic and historical perspective in all his art. He remembers painting at primary school and being fascinated by the shapes of the letters of the alphabet, and this at a time of relative austerity when supplies were not always available. Times change, though, and every painting he now produces is evocative of an earlier age, suggesting a wistful link to his childhood and adolescence. Children can remember detail and many of his stark background scenes will be familiar to older readers, landscapes which John describes as both important and absorbing. The northern hills and moors feature prominently, especially in his watercolours, which measure about 40 cms. x 25 cms. Above: Triumph motorcycles were built in Coventry and were everywhere during the Fifties. Below: The Wolseley Hornet was one of a variety of models based on the iconic Mini. “Tornado” is a replica A1 4-6-2 Pacific express steam locomotive built at Darlington from where it emerged in 2008, the first of its kind since “Evening Star” was built by British Railways in 1960. It is depicted here in the apple green livery of the LNER. 40 THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017

British cars and motorcycles from the Fifties and Sixties figure a great deal as they made up the vast majority of vehicles on English roads at the time. Foreign imports were relatively rare until they began to flood the market during the Seventies, firstly with motorcycles and then with motor cars. It was also important to John that his vehicle images were not glamorised, something which is clearly reflected in the absence of expensive models only available to the rich. He now lives in the village of Hetton-le-Hole in his native Co. Durham and, since returning to the North East, classic steam locomotives have been added to his art portfolio, which he attributes to railway heritage in general but particularly the building of 60163 “Tornado” which emerged from Darlington works in 2008, the first main line steam engine to be built from scratch in modern times. Are John’s transport paintings nostalgic, atmospheric and pleasing on the eye? Most certainly! PETER WORSLEY Sunderland flying boats were manufactured by Short Brothers and used extensively for wartime reconnaissance. They packed a healthy array of armaments and were nicknamed “Flying Porcupines” by the Germans. Gunthorpe Lock, Nottinghamshire. In the foreground is a Ford Zephyr Zodiac, complete with whitewall tyres, while in the background are two different Ford Popular models. The artist paints from memory and, given the presence of tram lines, agrees this seaside location could be either Blackpool or Fleetwood. VW Camper Van. Further Information: John Lowerson’s paintings can be found at the following website: Left: Short wheelbase soft top Land Rover. Below left: Now preserved in its post-war shape, “Duchess of Sutherland” belonged to the Coronation class of express locomotives built for the LMS during the Thirties, when several were streamlined as shown here. Below right: The artist’s father flew Lancaster bombers during the war and this one was a member of 153 Squadron. THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017 41

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