During one of his regular trips into East Grinstead from his home in Mitcham, Artist Barry Weekley was very taken with the High Street flower beds which had been recently planted for the summer. Since 2012 East Grinstead Town Council has been responsible for maintaining the beds with displays changing three times a year for Winter, Spring and Summer. The annual Summer planting commemorates notable anniversaries, both local and National and celebrates local organisations.
This Summer, one of the beds near the War memorial commemorates the Suffragette movement and because it was very active in East Grinstead, the Anti –Suffragette movement! Barry was particularly drawn to this one as he had just completed a painting of the Suffragette Emily Davison. Emily was mown down by the Kings horse and killed after she walked onto the track during the Epsom Derby in 1913.
Town Promotions manager Dawn Spalding was intrigued to see Barry’s painting and invited him back to the town. ‘We are always delighted to know that East Grinstead’s floral displays are attracting attention and we are meeting people from all over the country who have connections to the themes chosen each year’ she said. ‘It was great to see Barry’s painting with the High St as a back drop and while I was photographing him a tourist from Holland began to take photographs of us! Perhaps he will return next year to see what the Town Council have come up with’
The many props for summer beds are designed by EGTC head gardener Jenny Watson with themes being chosen by Town Clerk Julie Holden. Ferrings Nursery from Worthing interpret the designs, supply and plant the bedding plants and the Town Council’s outdoor staff prepare, maintain and water all year.
Barry Weekley’s painting of Emily Davison is for sale and is available as a print too from www.barryweekleyart.com
He can be contacted for further information on this and other paintings firstname.lastname@example.org