Connections with the past

L. S. Lowry is known for his painting of matchstick men in scenes of industrial buildings and back-to-back terraced houses in the North-West of England. He was particularly fond of England’s most northerly town, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Berwick has created the Lowry trail, linking many of the spots in town that he visited and painted. Images of the relevant paintings have been erected on boards, allowing the visitor to compare his view with the current setting. There are a number of differences, many due to the passing of time, but some due to slight modifications that Lowry made to suit his artistic requirements.

The black and white oil painting above left, depicts Sally Port on Old Street in 1954. The archway leads to the quayside and the steps lead up to the town walls. The buildings on the right have been demolished since 1954, but the location is still recognisable.

Above, we can see Lowry’s 1938 oil painting of Bridge End. The buildings are still easily recognised, with the Town Hall clock in the background, and the old cockle store middle right. In the Lowry painting, the building is named the “Home of the Original Berwick Cockles”, and not those of the mollusc variety. The cockle was a peppermint-flavoured sweet dating back to 1801 and made in these premises. The place is now a restaurant but carries a reference to its cockled past over the doorway.


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 24 April 2019

Posted as part of Tuesday Photo Challenge

17 thoughts on “Connections with the past

        1. I was just wandering and attracted by the sign which included the painting. It was positioned so that you just looked up and saw the same thing in reality.
          I’d like to go back and follow the whole trail.

          Liked by 1 person

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