Tom Harland

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THE well-known painter of Yorkshire landscapes, Tom Harland, has died at the age of 66.

Mr Harland, who was born and bred in North Ferriby, had works exhibited in the boardrooms and offices of some of the UK’s most prestigious companies and was popular for his scenes of well-known local landmarks.

He had a special affinity with the northern landscape, the Yorkshire Dales, the rugged East Coast and the Lake District.

Storms at sea, sunrises over the Humber and heather stretching away over moorlands were all captured in their many moods.

Two of his large paintings now hang in the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham where he died on Monday.

After four years of study at Hull Regional College of Art and four years teaching at the Sir William Worsley School, Middlesbrough, Mr Harland returned to North Ferriby to pursue his passion, making a living by working as a commercial artist.

Among his clients was Leeds Permanent Building Society, for whom he created shop window displays and artists’ impressions of new buildings and shopping centres in the days before computer design.

In the early 1980s, he rebuilt his father Tom’s cobbler’s shop in Low Street, North Ferriby, to create the gallery, where he held his main Christmas exhibition and where he was an important part of village life. Many of his paintings of the Humber were inspired by his morning walks along the river bank.

Mr Harland was commissioned to paint the country’s largest parish church, Holy Trinity Church, to mark the 700th anniversary of the Charter of 1299, granting Hull the status of King’s Town.

A print of the watercolour Jewel In The Crown was presented to the Queen in 1999 when she visited the city to mark that event.

As well as commissions for BP Chemicals, Express Dairies, Ideal Standard, and the Humber Pilots, among others, his work can also be found on the P&O ferry Pride of Hull.

More recently his work was chosen for the Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times watercolour competition and the 2007 Royal Society of Marine Artists exhibition in London.

Diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus last February he continued to paint and was full of ambitions for new projects despite his illness, following his winter exhibition, Paintings, a Few Pots and Prints, which saw a reunion with old art school chums John Read and Pete Colbridge.

He was also musical – playing lead guitar with John Read in the 1960s in a band called the Riverbeats, who were once support band for Pink Floyd – a talent which rubbed off on his two elder sons.

Another abiding passion which showed his artistry to its best advantage, was his award-winning model railway, 15ft in length, called Bramblewick, inspired by Leo Walmsley’s Bramblewick trilogy, set in Robin Hood’s Bay, which he built over three decades.

Very sociable and with a great sense of humour, he was as ready to talk to people about his art, as well as his music and sports cars.

His funeral is next Tuesday at Haltemprice Crematorium at Willerby, near Hull. No flowers are requested. Donations will go to the Queen’s Centre.

He leaves his wife Wendy, three sons, Tommy, Sam and Jack and grandsons Stanley and Harry – with a third grandchild due in April.