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  • Friends of the Shakespeare Line

Paint & Steam Power at Stratford Upon Avon


John Austin, FGRA, shows some of his paintings to Gurutekh Singh of West Midlands Trains who operate Stratford upon Avon station booking office
John Austin, FGRA, shows some of his paintings to Gurutekh Singh of West Midlands Trains who operate Stratford upon Avon station booking office

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Stratford upon Avon transformed into a paradise for railway and steam train lovers. Vintage Trains, the Birmingham-based heritage steam train operator, graced the town with a special charter train journey all the way from Derby. They also offered local residents an opportunity to journey to Birmingham and back, all powered by a majestic Great Western Railway 'Castle' class steam locomotive, promising an experience like no other.

 

At Stratford upon Avon, the renowned painter John Austin, a Fellow of the Guild of Railway Artists, held a captivating exhibition of his works at the community hub room where the volunteer-run Friends of the Shakespeare Line operates. Many of the scenes that John paints are commissioned by customers, and his exhibition displayed some of his latest works, with the most comment reserved for a stunning painting of a GWR 'King' class locomotive, '6024 King Edward I' stood at Birmingham's Snow Hill in the station's heyday. 


King Class 4-6-0 No.6024 King Edward I with the Paddington to Wolverhampton Inter-City Express at Birmingham Snow Hill by renowned artist John Austin FGRA. © John Austin
King Class 4-6-0 No.6024 King Edward I with the Paddington to Wolverhampton Inter-City Express at Birmingham Snow Hill by renowned artist John Austin FGRA. © John Austin

Birmingham-born John Austin, who now lives in Dawlish in Devon, was delighted with the number of people who visited the exhibition. Several of his paintings and prints were sold. Neil Morgan of the Friends of the Shakespeare Line said, "This is the first time we have used the room for an art exhibition, and given the success of John's weekend here, it will not be the last. We are already working with John to repeat it with another exhibition soon".

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