Mor­ris men a must in gallery col­lec­tion

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - SEAN WOOD

YOU never know who will turn up at the Laugh­ing Bad­ger Gallery, but one thing is cer­tain, the read­ers who do ar­rive, have al­ways got an in­ter­est­ing story to tell, and in­vari­ably some­thing to show me.

A per­fect ex­am­ple of this would be Roger Need­ham, of Up­per­mill, who vis­ited a few months ago and pre­sented me with an oil paint­ing of my band, The Cur­ragh Sons.

It was an im­age of us play­ing at the Rail­way Ho­tel in Green­field and I loved it, apart from the ex­tra thick neck Roger had given me and two or three chins which I’m sure were not mine. Jok­ing aside, the paint­ing is very good and I asked Roger if he had any­more at home. “About two hun­dred,” he said.

One thing led to an­other, and now read­ers can see Roger’s paint­ings on public show for the first time at the Gallery, from 11.30am un­til 3pm on Satur­day, June 20. The usual red wine and my award-win­ning scones will be freely avail­able.

My next job is to whit­tle down the col­lec­tion to 30 of my favourites; they cur­rently in­clude the Sad­dle­worth Mor­ris Men seen here, a paint­ing with real verve, where the dancers ap­pear to strut their stuff across the can­vas, a quin­tes­sen­tial English coun­try scene.

Other cer­tain­ties are the col­lec­tion of Mal­tese vignettes, in­clud­ing the lit­tle old lady knit­ting in the shade, an un­mis­tak­able yel­low bus and the bearded busker.

Whilst also in my top 30 will be the crafts­men and artist, vy­ing for space with the old Cadil­lac, gen­tly de­cay­ing in the Texan sun against a back­drop of the bluest blue pos­si­ble, a de­light.

Be great to see you at the Gallery, but please give me a shout at the usual email, so I don’t run out of scones.

Not want­ing to spoil the mood, but fol­low­ing on from my re­port about the miss­ing Hen Har­ri­ers in Bow­land, fur­ther news just in from the RSPB has my blood boil­ing. Both the RSPB and Cum­bria Po­lice have launched an ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion about the un­ex­plained dis­ap­pear­ance of a nest­ing male hen har­rier in the North Pen­nines.

The bird, which was nest­ing at the Gelts­dale re­serve, was last seen at the up­land site on Satur­day, May 23.

He set off hunt­ing at around 7.15am and was last ob­served by nest pro­tec­tion staff at around 1pm. With­out the male re­turn­ing to pro­vide her with food, the fe­male was forced to aban­don her clutch of five eggs, re­sult­ing in the fail­ure of the nest.

Un­for­tu­nately, in­cu­bat­ing the eggs from the nest was not an op­tion. By the time RSPB staff

The Laugh­ing Bad­ger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Pad­field, Glossop

●● Sad­dle­worth Mor­ris Men by Roger Need­ham

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