Image Size: 30.5 x 53.0 cms (12.0 x 20.5”)
Acrylic on paper
Original artwork from page 56/57 of ‘Orchards Through the Eyes Of An Artist’ (Langford Press) ISBN 1904078087
This painting was inspired following a late winter visit to the remaining apple orchard at Whittingham hospital, near Preston in Lancashire, which is situated on land formerly comprising 34 acres of cultivated gardens on the 458-acre hospital estate. During their heyday in the 1950s, the gardens provided an almost daily supply of green vegetables, in addition to vast quantities of soft fruit, apples and pears. Documentation of food cultivation during the 12 months up to August 1959 includes nearly 6000 lbs of apples and 2120 lbs of pears, in addition to a staggering 137,162 lbs of cabbage, 48,558 lbs of carrots and 49,185 lbs of beetroot. Much of this vegetable production has long since ceased, although the orchard, which had suffered from years of neglect, has recently been tidied and pruned by hospital residents, under the helpful eye of Phil Rainford, from the Northern Fruit Group.