Wigan artist's Coronation Street masterpiece up for sale

Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane takes a look at Lawrence Isherwood's dalliance with a certain soap opera...

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 9:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 12:20 pm
Hidden for almost 60 years, Isherwoods Coronation Street painting

Hidden for over half a century, an iconic painting of the irst cast of Coronation Street has finally seen the light.

The giant work of art is by the late Wigan artist James Lawrence Isherwood, which has now been put on sale at Hepplestones, the art gallery at Heskin.

The artist was ever intrigued by the northern soap – and once completed, he refused to sell the work of art which features characters who appeared in early episodes of Coronation Street in December 1960. When Isherwood died in 1989, his paintings passed to his family, and remained hidden away and unframed.

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Now his nephew Clive has decided to reveal the work to the public, and it is up for sale at £3,500.

Oil on board, the painting shows the characters Annie and Jack Walker, who “ran” the Rovers Return, Elsie and Dennis Tanner, Ena Sharples, Ken Barlow, Harry and Concepta Hewett, Florry Linley and others.

Amazingly, Isherwood didn’t include local actress Jennifer Moss – or perhaps she’s illustrated in one of the small areas above the chip shop door.

In his day, Isherwood, who lived with his mother at 151 Wigan Lane, opposite Wigan Infirmary, struggled selling his works of art, and often appeared as an extra in TV programmes made in Manchester.

But he told friends: “I always kept my best.”

And that’s why the large Coronation Street oil painting was never for sale, despite offers. Now Clive believes it’s the time to offer it for sale.

For more of Geoffrey's memories and musings, see the Wigan Observer out every Tuesday.