Leamington railway artist creates two new paintings related to town's station to celebrate the centenary of the formation of the 'Big Four' private rail companies

Railway artist Kevin Parrish has created two stunning paintings of famous locomotives arriving in Leamington to mark the centenary of the formation of the famous 'Big Four' private rail companies and to pay tribute to the friends group which supports the town's station.

Sir Nigel Gresley no 4498 LNER at Leamington Station by Kevin Parrish.

The Railways Act was passed by Royal Assent in 1921.

This was an act of Parliament under the British Government, sometimes called the Grouping Act.

This enabled the formation of the “Big Four” private railway companies from January 1923, namely the GWR (Great Western Railway), LMS (London Midland and Scottish Railway), LNER (London North Eastern Railway) and the SR (Southern Railway) ending the state control of 120 railway companies during the Great War.

The Duchess of Sutherland no 6233 at Leamington Station LMS by Kevin Parrish.

Although Nationalisation returned under the Transport Act of Parliament in 1947, the Big Four lives on in steam heritage and preservation and in the railway world of engineering and modelling today with many locomotives painted in original private railway liveries and appropriate numbering.

Kevin said: "As a local railway artist and lover of steam trains, I felt compelled to create and paint two magnificent locomotive examples of the Big Four, namely the Duchess of Sutherland no 6233 LMS and Sir Nigel Gresley no 4498 LNER to celebrate the Grouping Act

"Both are depicted at night visiting Leamington Station, after recent rain.

"My inspiration began from watching a couple of Youtube videos showing the arrival of these two locomotives at Leamington Station - The Duchess of Sutherland in 2017 and Sir Nigel Gresley in 2009.

Kevin used this view from Platform 2 at Leamington Station as a backdrop for his paintings.

"Both were on nationwide tours.

"The backdrop of Leamington Station Platform 2 portrays the gardens superbly kept and maintained by a local volunteer group first started by Ruth Bennion,

"The volunteers, of which I am one, became part of The Friends of Leamington Station, an organisation which has worked hard to support our beautiful Art Deco building.

"It is part of The Leamington Society.

"The station building can be seen in the distance on the right in both paintings."

Leamington Station was built and founded by The GWR in 1852.

The friends group arranged for the station building to be Grade II listed in 2002, which has protected it ever since.

As a full member of The Guild of Railway Artists, Kevin has been exhibiting his railway art alongside others at the Kidderminster Railway Museum annually during August and September.

Visit Kevin’s website to see more of his railway art at www.kevinparrish.co.uk