Odeon, Accrington 1950s

Odeon, Accrington 1950s
Acrylic on canvas
90cm x 60cm

This is painting I’ve done of The Odeon in Accrington.

One of my sources was a contemporary picture postcard. Although many will say it’s a pity that there are no longer floral gardens on Broadway, my abiding memory is how pleased my Mum and other women were when it was announced that a new Marks and Spencer was to be built there. She would no longer have to catch the bus to Blackburn, usually on Wednesday afternoon, to go to Marks. She would have been horrified when her favourite shop closed down.

This view is also special to me in that it shows The Coppice (the hill in the background) how it was when I was growing up, without a covering of trees – I’ve no idea how many times I clambered up those slopes to play on top. 

And then there’s The Odeon itself: being taken, as a special treat, for afternoon tea with toasted teacakes in the old-fashioned cafe at the side; and going with Mrs Thurman’s class from St John’s (the tip of the church spire is just visible behind the cinema) to watch the full colour film of The Coronation in 1959. 

From the Accrington Observer, 1962
The shops proving to be more popular than the gardens, also in 1962

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