Costessey oil painting to be bought following successful appeal

Oil on canvas painting from 19th C by Edward Littlewood of stick bridge at Costessey.

Oil on canvas painting from 19th C by Edward Littlewood of stick bridge at Costessey. - Credit: Archant

An oil painting depicting a Victorian scene in Costessey will be bought by a parish council after a successful appeal to people living in the area.

Costessey Stick Bridge in 1905. Courtesy of Brian Gage.

Costessey Stick Bridge in 1905. Courtesy of Brian Gage. - Credit: Supplied

As reported in the Norwich Evening News on February 7, Costessey Parish Council was hoping to buy the 19th century painting and display it at the Costessey Centre.

After the story appeared, around a dozen people stepped forward with donations to buy the £160 painting, which shows a horse and trap emerging from a stick bridge which used to cross the ford over Longwater Lane.

Small donations from £10 to £20 as well as numerous pledges to buy the painting outright have ensured that the council now has more than enough money to buy it.

At a parish council meeting on Tuesday night, councillors resolved to purchase the painting.

Parish councillor Tim East said: 'I'm absolutely delighted that a part of Costessey's heritage has been preserved for future generations to enjoy and admire.'

And council chairman Vivienne Bell praised the generosity of people in Costessey.

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Some of the money will also be used to restore the painting's frame.

The artwork is thought to date from the late 19th century and was painted by artist Edward Littlewood.

It was offered at a reduced price to the council by a private owner in Surrey.

The painting will now be put on display with the rest of the council's collection in the Rymarz Gallery at the Costessey Centre on Longwater Lane.

Mr Littlewood was painting in the mid to late 19th Century, and much of his work was done in the Norwich area.

Photos of how the stick bridge looked at the time have also emerged from local historian Brian Gage, 85, who wrote a book about Costessey's history with his brother Ernest.

Ernest, who died in 2002, collected more than 100 old photos of Costessey for the book including photos of the stick bridge dating from 1880.

•Do you have a story about Costessey? Contact Tom Bristow on 01603 772313.

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