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Donations pour in to allow council to buy old painting

PUBLISHED: 07:25 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 07:25 11 February 2013

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.

Archant

Community-spirited people in Costessey have inundated the parish council with donations to help buy an oil painting, after an appeal for help was issued.

Costessey Parish Council was reluctant to spend the £160 asking price for the painting, which depicts a Victorian scene in Costessey, because of budget cuts.

Instead, it appealed for people and groups in Costessey to step forward and help buy the artwork by making small donations.

And Vivienne Bell, council chairman, said the authority had been inundated with donations, enough to pay for the artwork.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed by the response and the generosity of the residents of Costessey. I think they are a special breed of people. The response was immediate and extremely positive. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

“We will use as many of the small donations as possible so we can really say that the painting was bought by and for the local community.”

Parish councillors will make a final decision about the painting at their next meeting on February 19. But Mrs Bell said she hopes the artwork will be in situ with the rest of the council’s collection in the Rymarz Gallery at the Costessey Centre in Longwater Lane as soon as possible.

The painting, currently with a private owner in Surrey, shows a horse and trap emerging from a stick bridge which used to cross the ford over Longwater Lane.

It was painted by artist Edward Littlewood, much of whose work was done in the Norwich area.

Costessey parish councillor Tim East, who is also a trained artist, said: “It would certainly add to our collection and again show part of our heritage that has long gone.

“It would help future generations to find out more about what Costessey used to look like.”

Are you trying to buy or save an item of historical interest for your community? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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