Westward Ho! Beach. 'On the Gallops.'
An open edition giclee print. 21.5 x 15 inches approximately.
As the sun sets over Cornborough Cliffs the tide ebbs and two thoroughbred horses gallop down the wet sand of Westward Ho! beach.
There used to be stables at Westward Ho! that trained race horses who would exercise on the wide expanse of sands. The Royal Horse Artillery have also used this beach on their annual rest to exercise their horses that pull the gun carriages for royal salutes.
My first professional exhibition was at the home of horse racing, Newmarket. Some months before the gallery owner had invited me to stage a one man exhibition. I naively suggested that I would paint my usual landscapes, aircraft and boats, to which he retorted that this was Newmarket and I would paint race horses. I informed him I had never painted a horse in my life, whereupon he said I had four months to get good at it! I am pleased to say I learnt how to paint horses and the exhibition was a great success.
Westward Ho! is the only place name in England with an exclamation mark. It was named after the title of the novel, written in 1863, by a local resident Charles Kingsley. Mariners leaving the Bristol Channel would fix their position abeam the estuary and Lundy and call Westward Ho! as they set course for America. Rudyard Kipling went to school at the United Services College in the village and his book Stalky and Co is based on his time there.