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|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Air Commodore Alan Deere DSO DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £80
|Top scoring New Zealand Ace with 22 victories, Deere was born in Auckland on December 12th 1917. Alan Deere would become one of the RAFs finest pilots. Joining the RAF in 1937, in September 1938 Al Deere was posted to No.54 Sqn at the time flying Gloster Gladiators, then in early 1940 the Squadron converted to Spitfires. His first brush with death happened when his oxygen failed while at altitude and ke blacked out, coming to only in time to pull his aircraft out of a dive and certain death. At the beginning of May 1940 Deere took part in the intensive air war over Dunkirk and on 23rd May 1940 Deere took part in a daring rescue operation. He and Pilot Officer Allen escorted their flight commander, James Leathart, to France where he was to land a Miles Master trainer and pick up the CO of 74 Squadron who had made a forced landing on the airfield at Calais-Marck. While the pick up was made, Alan Deere was at low level with Pilot Officer Allen at 8000 feet. As Flight Commander James Leathart prepared for take off in the Master, Pilot Offcier Allen spotted a flight o Bf109s coming their way. |
Deere scored his first victory, as a strafing Bf109 pulled out of its dive, presenting a perfect target. Deere fired a short burst and the aircraft stalled and then crashed into the sea. Deere, climbing to help Allen, crossed the path of two 109’s, one of which turned towards him. Deere also turned, firing at the second one, which rolled over and dived away. Pursuing the first one, he caught up at treetop height and pursued him, firing off his remaining ammunition before the German headed for home. During the whole event Deere and Allen accoutned for three Bf109s shot down and three damaged. All three aircraft returned to their base at RAF Hornchurch.
During four days - 23rd to 29th May - Deere shot down three Bf109’s and three Bf110’s but his luck ran out and he was shot down over Dunkirk while attacking a Dornier Do17 and luckily managed a forced landing in Belgium where he optained a bicycle and cycled to Dunkirk where he managed to get on a destroyer and returned to Hornchurch within 30 hours of taking off. In June he was decorated with the DFC by the King at a special ceremony at Hornchurch. Alan Deere destroyed seven more enemy fighters and one bomber during the Battle of Britian and was awarded a Bar to the DFC. In January 1941 became an Operations Room Controller. He returned to operations on 7th May 1941, joining 602 Squadron in Scotland as a Flight Commander.
On August 1st 1941 Alan Deere took command of 602 Squadron and on that day destroyed a Bf109. When his second operational tour ended in January 1942 Deere went to the USA to lecture on fighter tactics. In May 1942, he took command of 403 Squadron, commanding the squadron until August before being posted to staff duties. During a temporary attachment to 611 Squadron in February 1943 Deere destroyed an Fw190. Some days later he was appointed Wing Leader at Biggin Hill. He flew 121 sorties during his six months leadership and by this time his tally was twenty-two confirmed victories, ten probables and eighteen damaged.
He was also awarded the DSO and a bar to his DFC. Alan Deere was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and the DFC (USA) and in May 1945 He was awarded an OBE. In December 1977 Air Commodore Deere retired form the Royal Air Force. Iin 1959 Air Commodore Alan Deere wrote of his experiences in his book, ’Nine Lives’. Sadly, he passed away on 21st September 1995.
Air Commodore James Leathart (deceased)
*Signature Value : £85
|After flight training, he joined No.54 Squadron flying Gauntlets. He became the commanding officer of No.54 Squadron as they re-equipped with Spitfire MkIs. In a remarkable event, he was awarded the DSO when he rescued the stranded CO of No.74 Sqn. Commandeering a Miles Master training aircraft, he flew to France escorted by other pilots from No.54 Sqn, and rescued the CO before returning across the Channel. It was for this action that he was awarded the DSO in June 1940. Died in 1998.|
Air Commodore Sir Archie Winskill KCVO CBE DFC AE (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|An RAFVR pilot, Winskill flew with both 72 Squadron and 603 Squadrons during the Battle of Britain. Commissioned in August 1940 he was posted in February 1941 to 41 Squadron where he soon became a Flight Commander. Baders determination to engage the enemy at every possible opportunity is what he remembers most clearly of the period, On August 14th he was shot down over France, just five days after Bader. He managed to evade capture and, with the help of the French Resistance, made his way to Spain and then Gibraltar. He was the first pilot to use this route home. After another operational posting to North Africa, after which he was awarded a Bar to his DFC, he finished the war with four confirmed victories. Post war he stayed on in the RAF and was Captain of the Queens Flight for 14 years. He died 9th August 2005.|
Flight Lieutenant William Walker (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60
|Born on August 24 1913, William Walker joined the Royal Air Force Voluntary reserve on September 2 1938 at Kidlington, Oxford as an Airman u/t Pilot. William Walker joined the RAF on September 1st 1939 and posted to 1 ITW, Cambridge on November 15. He went to 2 FTS, Brize Norton on February 17 1940 and after training was posted directly to 616 Squadron on June 18th, flying Spitfires. The month of August saw an increased tempo of fighting as the Battle of Britain intensified. On the 15th, the Luftwaffe launched a major attack from Norway and Denmark against the north of England. No 616 was scrambled and intercepted a large force of bombers approaching the Yorkshire coast. Walker, who had only recently joined, flew on the wing of his section leader as they attacked the force. By the end of the engagement, six enemy bombers had been shot down. Four days later, No 616 moved to Kenley, where Walker was immediately in action. During the late morning of August 26 1940, Walker and his squadron colleagues of No 616 (South Yorkshire) Auxiliary Squadron were scrambled from Kenley to intercept a raid of 40 enemy bombers approaching Dover. Too low to attack the raiders, the squadron turned north to gain height but were ambushed by a large formation of Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. Within minutes, three Spitfires had been shot down. As Walker attacked a Bf 109 his Spitfire was hit from behind and he was wounded in the leg. The controls were shot away and Walker was forced to bail out at 20,000ft from his Spitfire MK II, R 6701 He landed in the English Channel very close to a sandbank, which he was able to reach. Shortly afterwards, suffering from hypothermia, he was picked up by a fishing boat. A large crowd cheered as he was landed at Ramsgate, but the badly damaged hospital there was unable to deal with his wound. He was taken to Ramsgate Hospital suffering from hypothermia, he was then transferred to the RAF Hospital at Halton, where they operated to remove the bullet from his ankle. ( a souvenir he kept for the rest of his life ) On May 2nd 1941 he rejoined. Walker returned to hospital at Halton on September 23 1941 and after convalescence at Torquay, he rejoined 1 ADF on November 17. He was posted to 116 Squadron on July 8 1942, on anti-aircraft co-operation duties. He remained with the squadron until July 6 1944. He then went to the Sector Gunnery Flight at Gatwick until October 4, when he rejoined 1 ADF. He served with the unit at various locations until released from the RAF at Uxbridge on September 1 1945, as a Flight Lieutenant and received the Air Efficiency Award. Post-war, he returned to the brewing trade and rose to become chairman of Ind Coope, a role previously held by his father. Sadly Flt Lt William Walker died on October 21st 2012.|
|Group Captain Brian Kingcome DSO DFC (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £65
|Brian Fabris Kingcome was born in Calcutta on May 31st 1917. Brian Kingcome was educated at Bedford and in 1936 entered the RAF College, Cranwell. Soon after he began his pilot course he was seriously injured in a car accident and was told by the RAF medical board that he would never fly again as he was expected to suffer permanent double vision. But after months in hospital and with Brians strength of character he proved the board wrong. In 1938 he was posted to No 65, a biplane Gladiator fighter squadron based at Hornchurch. Brian Kingcome took part in the Battles of France and Dunkirk but transferred to 92 Squadron as a flight commander and flying Spitfires in May 1940 scoring his first victories in June 1940. Brian Kingcome became acting commanding officer during the latter stages of the Battle of Britain. During this time he and his pilots achieved the highest success rate of any squadron in the entire Battle of Britain. After being shot down by Me109s and wounded, he returned to active operations. In February 1942 he was posted to command 72 Squadron, followed by promotion to Wing Leader at Kenley. In May 1943 he was posted to lead 244 Wing in the Mediterranean during the invasion of Sicily. An Ace, Brian Kingcome flew Spitfires in combat continually until the end of 1944, his tally finishing at 8 and 3 shared destroyed, plus a score of probables and damaged. One of the prewar Cranwell elite, Brian Kingcome was to become one ofthe Second World Wars great fighter leaders, alongside such immortals as Douglas Bader, Bob Stanford Tuck and Johnnie Johnson. At the outbreak of war he was serving in 65 Squadron, but in May 1940 was posted to 92 Squadron as flight commander. On 25 May he shared a Do 17 and on 2 June destroyed two He l l Is and damaged a third. He shared a Ju 88 with two others on I0 July, and again on the 24th. On 9 September he probably destroyed a Bf 110 and two days later shot down a He 111. On the 14th he damaged another. He shot down a Bf 109 on the 23rd and next day probably destroyed another and damaged a Ju 88. Three days later he shared a Ju 88 again, damaged two others, probably destroyed a Do 17, and damaged one of these also. Around this time he was awarded a DFC for six victories, and on 11 October got a Bf 109 He claimed another next day, and also damaged one. In 1941 he became commanding officer, having frequently led the squadron. It will be noted that he claimed many probables and damaged during the Battle of Britain, and this was due to his view that it was more important to hit as many as possible than to try and confirm victories. On 16 June 1941 lie probably destroyed a Bf 109, and on 24 July shot one down. He was then rested until late in the year, when he was posted to command 72 Squadron, and in February 1942 gave escort cover to the Fleet Air Arm pilot Eugene Esmonde, who won the VC trying to attack German capital ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and and the cruiser ‘Prinz Eugen’ with Swordfish during the Channel Dash. In atrocious weather Kingcome caught a fleeting glimpse of tbe Scharnhorst - Oh what a beautiful battleboat! he exclaimed, just as a shell made a hole the size of a dustbin lid in his port wing. During 1941 he received a Bar to his DFC, having brought his score to 10. He was promoted to lead the Kenley wing, and on 15 April 1942 damaged a Fw 190. He probably destroyed a Bf 109 on 28 May, and during the year was awarded a DSO, having added another victory to his score. In 1943 he was posted to North Africa to lead 244 Wing, and lead this for 18 months, becoming a Gp. Capt. after the invasion of Italy. By the end of his stay with the wing he had brought his score to 18, and was then posted as SASO of a Liberator group, and flew an operation as a waist gunner over northern Yugoslavia after taking up this appointment. Sadly Group Captain Brian Kingcome passed away aged 76 in 1994.|
Group Captain Tom Dalton Morgan DSO, DFC*, OBE (deceased)
*Signature Value : £75
|Tom Dalton-Morgan was born on March 23rd 1917 at Cardiff and educated at Taunton School. He was a descendant of the buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan and the Cromwellian General Sir Thomas Morgan, Thomas Frederick Dalton-Morgan. Tom Dalton-Morgan joined the RAF in 1935, serving with 22 Squadron. Flying the Wildebeeste torpedo bomber, he joined the training staff at the Air Ministry. In April 1940 he applied to return to flying, and was appointed to No.43 Squadron. In June 1940 he was posted to Tangmere as B Flight commander with 43 Squadron, flying Hurricanes, scoring his first victory on 12 July. In action over the Channel he shared in the destruction of a Heinkel bomber, but he was forced to bale out with slight wounds the following day when he destroyed another and then was hit by crossfire. With no badges of rank in evidence - he was wearing pyjamas under his flying suit - he was captured by a bobby who placed him in the cells along with the German bomber crew he had just shot down. Dalton-Morgan resumed flying and was soon back in action, accounting for four more enemy aircraft in the next three weeks. In early September, he shot down three Messerschmitt fighters. After one engagement he was wounded in the face and knee, and had to crash-land. His DFC praised him for displaying great courage when his behaviour in action has been an inspiration to his flight. After the Battle of Britain, Dalton-Morgan's primary task was to train new pilots for service with the squadrons in the south. He was also required to establish a night-fighting capability with the Hurricane, a task he achieved with great success. Few enemy night bombers fell victim to single-seat fighter pilots, but Dalton-Morgan, hunting alone, destroyed no fewer than six. Three of his victims went down in successive nights on May 6-7 1941, when the Luftwaffe embarked on a major offensive against the Clydesdale ports and Glasgow. On June 8th, Dalton-Morgan achieved a remarkable interception when he shot down a Junkers bomber, having made initial contact by spotting its shadow on the moonlit sea. After two more successes at night, he was carrying out a practice interception on July 24th with a fellow pilot when he saw another Junkers. Dalton-Morgan gave chase and intercepted it off May Island. Despite his engine failing and fumes filling the cockpit, he attacked the bomber three times. He had just watched it hit the sea when his engine stopped. Too low to bale out, he made a masterly landing on the water, but lost two front teeth when his face hit the gun sight. He clambered into his dinghy before being rescued by the Navy. In January 1942 he left the squadron to become a Controller. Promoted Wing Commander Operations with 13 Group, he then led the Ibsley Wing, consisting of 4 Spitfire, 2 Whirlwind, and 2 Mustang Squadrons. His final victory in May 1943 brought his score to 17. Briefly attached to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group, with the task of mounting long-range offensive sorties over northern France and providing scouts for the tactical bomber squadrons. After damaging an Me 109 in December, he shot down a Focke Wulf 190 fighter and damaged another during a sweep over Brest. He was awarded the DSO in May 1943, which recorded his victories at the time as 17. He flew more than 70 combat sorties with the group. Promoted group captain early in 1944, he served as operations officer with the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Dalton-Morgan engaged in planning fighter and ground attack operations in support of the campaign in Normandy, then moved to the mainland with his organisation after the invasion. Years after, his CO at the time (later Air Marshal Sir Fred Rosier) commented: It would be impossible to overstate Tom D-M's importance and influence on the conduct of fighter operations for and beyond D-Day. A month before the end of the war in Europe, Dalton-Morgan learned that his only brother, John, who also had the DFC, had been shot down and killed flying a Mosquito. Dalton-Morgan remained in Germany with 2nd Tactical Air Force after the war before attending the RAF Staff College, and becoming a senior instructor at the School of Land/Air Warfare. Later he commanded the Gutersloh Wing, flying Vampire jets, before taking command of RAF Wunsdorf. He was appointed OBE in 1945 and mentioned in dispatches in 1946, the year President Harry Truman awarded him the US Bronze Star. Group Captain Tom Dalton-Morgan, who has died in Australia aged 87, on the 18th September 2004, was one of the RAF's most distinguished Battle of Britain fighter pilots.|
Squadron Leader Basil Stapleton DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £60
|Born in South Africa, Basil Stapleton joined the RAF in Jan 1939, being posted to 603 Sqn flying Spitfires. He first saw action off Scotland, sharing in the destruction of two bombers, before the Squadron was posted south to Hornchurch during the height of the Battle of Britain. By Nov 1940 his tally had risen to 6 and 2 shared victories and 8 probables. In March 1942 he was posted to 257 Sqn as flight commander. In August 1944 he commanded 247 Sqn flying Typhoons, taking part in the Arnhem operations. In December 1944, whilst attacking a train, debris hit his aircraft forcing him to land behind enemy lines where he was taken prisoner of war. Stapme Stapleton had scored 6 victories, plus 2 shared, 5 probable and 2 damaged. Sadly, we have learned that Basil Stapleton passed away on 13th April 2010.|
Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC
*Signature Value : £35
|Joined the RAF with a Short Service Commission in August 1939. He joined 92 Squadron flying Spitfires in June 1940 at the time of Dunkirk. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain, later completing over 50 fighter sweeps and escorts over northern France and Belgium until August 1941. He then joined 65 Squadron as Flight Commander in March 1942 operating over northern France and flew off aircraft carrier HMS Furious on Operation Pedestal, to Malta. Geoff was a Flight Lieutenant during Operation Pedestal. He returned to the UK as a test pilot for Gloster Aircraft and finished the war as a Pilot Attack Instructor. Geoffrey was credited with three destroyed, four probables and several damaged and was awarded the DFC in July 1941.|
Squadron Leader Jocelyn G P Millard (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Volunteering for the RAFVR in August 1939, J G Millard was called up for full time service the following month. Converting to Hurricanes, he was posted to 1 Squadron at Wittering in October 1940, and shortly after transferred to Dougla Baders 242 Squadron at Coltishall. In November he moved to 615 Squadron at Northolt. After the Battle of Britain he spent time as an instructor, going to Canada. He later became Squadron Commander of 35 SFTS. Sadly, Jocelyn Millard passed away on the 10th of May 2010.|
Tony Pickering AFC
*Signature Value : £45
|With the RAFVR just before the war commenced, Tony Pickering joined 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill in July 1940, flying Hurricanes, and in August 1940 to 501 Squadron at Gravesend. In September he was shot down in Hurricane P5200, but unhurt in a duel with an Me109, destroying another 109 a few weeks later. In December he joined 601 Squadron at Northolt. After a spell instructing, he joined 131 as a Flight Commander in February 1943, and later served as a Squadron Commander in the Middle East.|
Vivian Snell (deceased)
*Signature Value : £65
|Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot with No.501 Sqn. Shot down over Cranbrook on 25th October 1940 while flying Hurricane P2903, bailing out uninjured. During his service life Vivian flew the Fairy Battle with 103 Squadron, later flying the Hawker Hurricane with 151 and 501(F) Squadrons during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Vivian shot down a Bf109E on the 25th October 1940 and was then shot down himself while piloting Hurricane Mk.I serial N2438. After having minor wounds attended to he returned to his squadron and flew through the rest of the Battle of Britain. In 1941 he was flying the American built Douglas DB7 Havoc night fighter with number 85(F) Squadron. He commanded his own Mosquito Squadron towards the end of the War. Vivian was released from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Wing Commander.|
Wing Commander Wilfred M Sizer DFC* (deceased)
*Signature Value : £55
|Born on 23rd February 1920, at the outbreak of war Bill Sizer was flying Hurricanes with 213 Squadron, after flying Guantlets with No.17 Squadron. The squadron flew to France in May 1940, where he scored his first victories, before being attacked by five Me109s and shot down. Rejoining his squadron soon after, he took part in the air battles over Dunkirk before again being shot down and escaping back to England. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain. Based at Exeter, on the 11th of August, he shot down a Ju88, and the next day he shot down a fighter escorting a large formation of bombers. As the attacks intensified, the pilots of 213 Sqn fle wup to four patrols a day. On the 15th of August he shot down two Ju87 Stukas. He also shared in the destruction of a Ju88 in October 1940, bringing it down over Beachy Head. He was awarded the DFC for scoring 7 and 5 shared victories. In April 1941 he was posted to join 1 Squadron, and then 91 Squadron. In April 1942 he joined 152 Squadron flying Spitfires, with whom he went to North Africa. In January 1943 he was given command of 93 Squadron and took part in the Sicily landings. While leading 93 Squadron he shot down two Italian fighters and damaged several others. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC. He finished the war with 7 and 5 shared victories. He died 22nd December 2006.|
Wng Cmdr Ken Mackenzie (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Ken Mackenzie flew 2 ops on Hurricanes with No.43 Sqn before joining No.501 Sqn based at Kenley during the Battle of Britain, again on Hurricanes. During his time with No.501 Sqn, he claimed 7 victories, with a further 4 shared and 3 damaged. In the most remarkable of these, Ken was following what he thought was a damaged Me109 down to sea level. Realising the aircraft was not damaged, he deliberately struck the tailplane of the enemy aircraft with the wing of his Hurricane (V6799), forcing his opponent to crash. He was subsequently awarded the DFC on 25th October 1940. After this, he joined No.247 Sqn flying night fighter Hurricanes shooting down 10 aircraft in one year. He was shot down on the 29th of September 1941 after claiming an He111 bomber in a night attack planned to target Lannion airfield in Brittany. Ken was engaged by heavy flak from ground defences and completed this sortie by ditching in the sea. He paddled to shore in his dinghy and was subsequently captured and taken prisoner. Ken MacKenzie was posted to various camps before ending up in Stalag Luft 111, Sagan, and was finally repatriated to the UK in October 1944. He was posted to 53 OTU, Kirton-In-Lindsey on 19th December 1945 as an instructor and on 17th June 1945, posted to 61 OTU, Keevil, as a Flight Commander. After the war on the 1st January 1953, Ken was awarded the Air Force Cross. Retired from the RAF on 1st July 1967 with the rank of Wing Commander. Sadly, Wing Commander Ken Mackenzie died on 4th June 2009|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.|
|Artist Details : Nicolas Trudgian|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Nicolas Trudgian|
Cranston Fine Arts have now taken over all remaining stocks of Nicolas Trudgian prints from his previous publishers. We have made available a great many prints that had not been seen for many years, and have uncovered some rarities which lay unnoticed during this transition.
Having graduated from art college, Nicolas Trudgian spent many years as a professional illustrator before turning to a career in fine art painting. His crisp style of realism, attention to detail, compositional skills and bright use of colours, immediately found favour with collectors and demand for his original work soared on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, more than a decade after becoming a fine art painter, Nicolas Trudgian is firmly established within a tiny, elite group of aviation artists whose works are genuinely collected world-wide. When he paints an aircraft you can be sure he has researched it in every detail and when he puts it over a particular airfield, the chances are he has paid it a recent visit. Even when he paints a sunset over a tropical island, or mist hanging over a valley in China, most probably he has seen it with his own eyes. Nick was born and raised in the seafaring city of Plymouth, the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, and where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada. Growing up in a house close to the railway station within a busy military city, the harbour always teeming with naval vessels and the skies above resonating with the sounds of naval aircraft, it was not at all surprising the young Nick became fascinated with trains, boats and aircraft. It was from his father, himself a talented artist, that Nick acquired his love of drawing and surrounded by so much that was inspiring, there was never a shortage of ideas for pictures. His talent began to show at an early age and although he did well enough at school, he always spent a disproportionate amount of time drawing. People talked about him becoming a Naval officer or an architect but in 1975 Nick's mind was made up. When he told his careers teacher he wanted to go to art school the man said, 'Now come on, what do you really want to do? After leaving school Nick began a one-year foundation course at the Plymouth College of Art. Now armed with an impressive portfolio containing paintings of jet aircraft, trains, even wildlife, he was immediately accepted at every college he applied to join. He chose a course at the Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall specialising in technical illustration and paintings of machines and vehicles for industry. It was perfect for Nick, and he was to become one of the star pupils. One of the lecturers commented at the time: Every college needs someone with a talent like Nick to raise the standards sky high; he carried all the other students along with him, and created an effect which will last for years to come. Two weeks after leaving art college Nick blew every penny he had on a trip to South Africa to ride the great steam trains across the desert, sketching them at every opportunity. Returning to England, in best traditions of all young artists, he struggled to make a living. Paintings by an unknown artist didn't fetch much despite the painstaking effort and time Nick put into each work, so when the college he had recently left offered him a job as a lecturer, he jumped at the chance. The money was good and he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. Throughout the 1970s Nick was much involved with a railway preservation society near Plymouth and it was through the railway society that he had his first pictures reproduced as prints. But Nick felt he needed to advance his career and in summer 1985 Nick moved away from Cornwall to join an energetic new design studio in Wiltshire. Here he painted detailed artwork for many major companies including Rolls Royce, General Motors, Volvo Trucks, Alfa Romeo and, to his delight, the aviation and defence industries. He remembers the job as exciting though stressful, often requiring him to work right through the night to meet a client's deadline. Here he learned to be disciplined and fast. Towards the end of the 1980's Nick had the chance to work for the Military Gallery. This was the break that for years he had been striving towards and with typical enthusiasm, flung himself into his new role. After completing a series of aviation posters, including a gigantic painting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Nick's first aviation scene to be published as a limited edition was launched by the Military Gallery in 1991. Despite the fact he was unknown in the field, it was an immediate success. Over the past decade Nick has earned a special reputation for giving those who love his work much more than just aircraft in his paintings. He goes to enormous lengths with his backgrounds, filling them with interesting and accurate detail, all designed to help give the aircraft in his paintings a tremendous sense of location and purpose. His landscapes are quite breathtaking and his buildings demonstrate an uncanny knowledge of perspective but it is the hardware in his paintings which are most striking. Whether it is an aircraft, tank, petrol bowser, or tractor, Nick brings it to life with all the inordinate skill of a truly accomplished fine art painter. A prodigious researcher, Nick travels extensively in his constant quest for information and fresh ideas. He has visited India, China, South Africa, South America, the Caribbean and travels regularly to the United States and Canada. He likes nothing better than to be out and about with sketchbook at the ready and if there is an old steam train in the vicinity, well that's a bonus!
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