Full steam ahead for special painting of Hest Bank railway station

An evocative new painting commemorating Hest Bank railway station and the holiday ‘camping coaches’ which provided self-catering accommodation on the shore there during the 1960s has been published as a limited-edition print.

Philip D Hawkins FGRA with 'Hest Bank - Whitsun 1961'.
Philip D Hawkins FGRA with 'Hest Bank - Whitsun 1961'.

The painting is by Philip D Hawkins FRGA, the UK’s leading railway artist, and was commissioned by Andrew McRae who, as a small boy, stayed with his family in one of the camping coaches during Whitsun 1961 hence the title of the painting ‘Hest Bank, Whitsun 1961’.

The scene features a mighty LMS Princess Coronation Pacific locomotive No.46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent, heading north at speed through the station at the head of a Birmingham to Glasgow express.

Drawing to a stop alongside the southbound platform is a double-header with No. 45507 Royal Tank Corps and a Jubilee hauling a Workington to London train, about to collect a few passengers. In the distance, clouds roll across the sky over Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland hills.

From the windows of one of the camping coaches, three small children gaze upon the spectacle of the passing trains.

In the early 1960s the station master at both Hest Bank and neighbouring Bare Lane station was Arthur Herbert, who was assisted in his responsibilities for the camping coaches by his wife Agnes; both are pictured ready to help those boarding and alighting from the London train.

Mr and Mrs Herbert’s son Ron, himself a now retired railwayman and a well-known photographer and historian, provided technical advice about the scene depicted.

Prints are available from Quicksilver Publishing in a run of 500 limited edition prints at £85 inc p&p and 50 Artist’s Proofs at £105.

Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You may order online at www.quicksilverpublishing.co.uk, by phone on 01626 773288 or by cheque made payable to Quicksilver Publishing and addressed to The Sidings, 52 Teignmouth Road, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8UT.