The Pike in pictures

Tony Kerins' picture of the car wash on the Blackrod bypass, one of many mundane Lancashire scenes brought to vibrant life in a new exhibition
Tony Kerins' picture of the car wash on the Blackrod bypass, one of many mundane Lancashire scenes brought to vibrant life in a new exhibition

An exhibition at Astley Hall showcases a Lancashire lad’s paintings of the landscapes of his youth

From Rivington Pike: Drawings & Paintings of Lancashire

Tony Kerins

Artist Tony Kerins left Adlington many years ago, but the landscapes of his Lancashire childhood never quite left him.

In fact, they’ve inspired his new exhibition, From Rivington Pike: Drawings & Paintings of Lancashire by Tony Kerins, which is being held at Astley Hall, Chorley, from Saturday, April 5 to Monday, May 26.

The exhibition features around 40 paintings of the landscapes and industrial heritage of the Chorley area, including places like Anglezarke Moor, White Coppice, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and of course, Rivington Pike. Tony also captures people going about their everyday business, giving fascinating glimpses of local life over the years. Tony left Adlington 40 years ago and is now based in Dorset.

But he regularly visits his family in the area – giving him the opportunity to sketch the places he grew up with.

“There’s a magic about the history, the waterways and the moors which inspired me as a child and still does the same today,” says Tony.

“So I’m proud to be presenting my paintings as an expression of the area and its people.”

The earliest work on display is from 1973, when Tony was a student at the then Manchester Polytechnic. He travelled the county sketching mills, quarries, fields, docks – anywhere people were working.

“As well as the new paintings, I’ll be showing many of my old sketches,” he adds.

“It’s amazing how these drawings have the power to take me back in time. I hope the exhibition will have the same effect on local people, rekindling memories of places and times that have long gone.”

The show also includes examples of Tony’s professional work as an illustrator. He has painted more than 300 book-jackets – for authors like Penelope Lively, Michael Morpurgo and Philip Pullman – written and illustrated his own picture-books, and illustrated the history and wildlife of many heritage sites including Stonehenge and the Dorset/Devon Jurassic Coast.

The exhibition has been supported by Rotherham Taylor Limited, chartered accountants.

This is the first exhibition of a new season at Astley Hall.