Bideford Long Bridge. 'Just Fishing.'
An open edition giclee print. 22 x 14.5 inches approximately.
This is Bideford long bridge. It rained for much of the two weeks it took to paint this painting so I strapped my huge fishing umbrella to a lamp post on the pavement. In those days this was an exceptionally busy road as the bypass had not been built. As the painting progressed the drivers in passing cars and lorries took more and more interest. On my first day they went slowly, the next even slower and finally they stopped for a chat. The new by-pass was clearly required for traffic control round artists!
There were frequently small boys fishing from the bridge while I was there. So in the picture I have included my son James and my daughter Natasha is on the far pavement.
The Hotel with the spire is called the Royal Hotel after Queen Victoria visited it. To ensure she could alight from the train at the Hotel a platform was built at the rear of the Hotel. The railway bridge can be seen in the picture. It has a platform to both the left and right of the bridge so Bideford has two stations!
Bideford was a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War and a fort on the hill dominates the river and the town. The old cannon are still in place though the magnificent views are now blocked by mature trees. The building on the crest of the hill was an American officers’ mess during World War Two.