Goole Civic Society was thrilled by the fantastic turnout for the launch of its Reuben Chappell Outdoor Art Trail on Friday, September 11th.
The society created the trail to celebrate the town’s renowned “Pierhead Painter” Reuben Chappell and to make people more aware of the inland port’s rich maritime heritage.
Reuben Chappell’s great grandson, David Dixon, was guest of honour, having travelled from Cornwall to East Yorkshire for the event. Several other Chappell family members from the local area were there to watch David cut the ribbon on the first painting, the Humber billy-boy Masterman, located opposite the Lowther Hotel in Aire Street, Goole.
David was joined by the Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Coun Peter Turner, and Goole Civic Society Chair Margaret Hicks-Clarke.
Other guests of honour were the Mayor and Mayoress of Goole, Coun Ian Blackburn and Mrs Jacqui Blackburn; and the Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies, Kevin Trickett.
The launch formed part of Goole Civic Society’s contribution to Heritage Open Days, when thousands of volunteers across the country will invite people to experience local history, architecture and culture.
Free trail guide books are now permanently available in Goole Museum and Library in Carlisle Street, Goole, and the Yorkshire Waterways Museum, Dutch Riverside, Goole.
The trail has been funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s High Street Fund, which aims to revitalise high streets and improve town centres. Other donations have come from the Business in Goole group and a local benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.
Use of the paintings for reproduction was provided by Goole Museum, which is staging a Reuben Chappell exhibition from September 25th, and by Goole-based shipbroker Peter Aarosin, whose grandfather left him a Chappell painting that he commissioned in 1910.
Marine artist Reuben Chappell was born in the inland port of Goole in 1870 and painted "portraits" of sailing ships and steam vessels commissioned by ships’ owners, captains and crew. In 1904 he moved with his family to Par in Cornwall and became one of the best and most prolific of the Pierhead Painters. In his lifetime he painted more than 12,000 pictures of vessels from all over northern Europe.
Mrs Hicks-Clarke said: "The Civic Society chose Reuben Chappell for the project because his paintings are a wonderful reminder of Goole’s rich maritime heritage, of which we can all be immensely proud.
"We have sited the 12 pictures on a numbered trail that incorporates the different aspects of the town. It takes in the docks, the beautiful riverbank, and the town centre.
"Each painting is sited at a location with a special historical significance and details of both the picture and location are explained in the trail guide book."