LNER A5 AT WEEKDAY CROSS NOTTINGHAM 1943-48

LNER A5 AT WEEKDAY CROSS NOTTINGHAM 1943-48

GICLEE PRINT OF ORIGINAL OIL-ON-CANVAS PAINTING

Weekday Cross was the junction of the lines to London and Grantham at the southern tunnel exit from Nottingham's Victoria station.  I painted an LNER A5 tank locomotive leaving Nottingham with a stopping train for Grantham in the 1940s.  My father remembers taking trains from Grantham to and from Nottingham during his youth.  What looks like bomb damage toward the center of the image and my painting the A5 and the train's coaches in LNER liveries places the scene in the mid to late 1940s.

The photograph:   Colin Walker took the original black and white photograph from the signal gantry controlling the Grantham line in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  It was published in the December 2005 issue of Steam Days magazine. and is possibly a unique view of Weekday Cross.  I was struck by the way the Victorian buildings seemingly cascade toward the viaduct, allowing me to paint in plenty of contrasting depth throughout the painting.

The painting:  This painting has the most architectural emphasis of all to date.  I love the sweeping vista of all the old buildings from a vantage point of an area of Nottingham that I never saw in real life.  It differs from the photograph in several ways:

  • Replaced the B1 loco in the photograph with a Robinson A5 tank locomotive from my model railway collection
  • Reduced the amount of smoke to include more buildings researched from photographs found in other books in the background
  • Removed unsightly industrial hoppers on the right side's roof to keep the signal box and train the center of attention
  • Extended the painting beyond the photograph at the bottom to center the train in the picture
  • Added people

I used to see the unused viaduct in the distance when riding the bus down Carrington Street on the way to Mundella Grammar school.  At the time, I thought it was black with the grime of the steam age.   The surrounding buildings were regular brick colors.  I never saw the viaduct up close.  Since then, I have read that it was built using engineer's brick, which was dark blue.  From the photograph it had layered colors, which I have included in the painting.  Nottingham's Council House dome appears on the skyline.  In my youth, I used to meet friends at the lion statues at the Council House entrance.

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Tags: historic, steam, railways, painting