Paint & Steam Power at Stratford Upon Avon

It was great to see Stratford upon Avon Railway Station transformed into a paradise for railway and steam train lovers over the late Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Vintage Trains, the Birmingham-based heritage steam train operator, graced the town with a special charter train journey all the way from Derby. They also offered local residents an opportunity to journey to Birmingham and back, all powered by a majestic Great Western Railway “Castle” class steam locomotive, promising an experience like no other.

At Stratford upon Avon, the renowned painter John Austin, a Fellow of the Guild of Railway Artists, held a captivating exhibition of his works at the community hub room where the volunteer-run Friends of the Shakespeare Line operates. Many of the scenes that John paints are commissioned by customers, and his exhibition displayed some of his latest works, with the most comment reserved for a stunning painting of a GWR “King” class locomotive “, 6024 King Edward I” stood at Birmingham’s Snow Hill in the station’s heyday. 

Birmingham-born John Austin, who now lives in Dawlish in Devon, was delighted with the number of people who visited the exhibition. Several of his paintings and prints were sold. Neil Morgan of the Friends of the Shakespeare Line said, “This is the first time we have used the room for the art exhibition, and given the success of John’s weekend here, it will not be the last. We are already working with John to repeat it with another exhibition soon.”

John Austin, FGRA shows some of his paintings to Gurutekh Singh of West Midlands Trains who operate Stratford upon Avon station booking office.