Forgotten sketches of Whaley Bridge's Transhipment Warehouse go on sale

An artist who worked at the Transhipment Warehouse in Whaley Bridge has found the drawings he made while employed there almost 50 years ago and now plans to sell them.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 7:00 am

Brian Woolley worked at the warehouse between 1975 and 1981 where he fitted the canal boats before they were sold but he was also a talented artist and painted the canal basin and the warehouse.

The 90-year-old from Whaley Bridge said: “I completed the sketches of the transhipment building in 1976, the prints were created for an event planned years ago that never took place.”

Brian got into painting sometime between 1965 and 1970. He actually saw some oil paintings and decided to buy some paints and have a go.

One of the sketches made by Brian Woolley back in the 1970s

During his time at the basin he also fitted part of the upper flooring and the staircase which are used now.

Before this he had two workshops in New Mills. After he left the warehouse, he worked as a builder for a while with his son Paul converting barns into houses. He later had a shop selling furniture and tall standing clocks in Horwich End, and then made furniture from his workshop at home and painted until he retired.

The paintings had been forgotten for years and only recently came to light after a conversation Brian had with Nev Clarke who now runs the Whaley Bridge Foodbank and oragnises the monthly FAB (food and arts at the basin) markets in Whaley Bridge.

Some of the sketches made by Brian Woolley back in the 1970s

Brian said: “It took a while to find them as I have so many prints and paintings.

"I’ve decided to sell them as I don’t need them and the money is going towards the transhipment buildings so it's a good cause.”

Nev added: “These pictures are so amazing and show the warehouse in all seasons and show how nearly 50 years on the building still looks very similar even though so much has changed.”

Brian is only selling the black and white images and these will be available to buy at the monthly FAB market which takes place at Whaley Bridge Canal Basin.

For more information about the sketches contact the Transhipment Warehouse on 01663 635377.

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