Eye: Art work displayed in town council chamber after project finishes

Town councillor Andrew Evitt, Steven Harmer, mayor Merlin Carr and Charles Butler

Town councillor Andrew Evitt, Steven Harmer, mayor Merlin Carr and Charles Butler - Credit: Matt Hunter

PORTRAITS of eminent people from a town’s history have been restored and re-framed as part of a £2,700 project.

Eye’s Town Hall council chamber is now decorated with several paintings, including some of former mayors and generals.

Charles Butler is chair of Eye Town Hall Improvements Company (ETHIC). He said: “We had them inside for a long while. In that time they had got damp. We decided to bring them back and have them restored. They were restored by professional restorers then re-hung professionally, so the damp cannot come back.

“It’s the town’s history on display. The portraits had been hidden away from public view. Because of the Heritage Lottery, more and more people have taken an interest in their own heritage in a small town like Eye. We feel it is amazing for them to be on display.”

The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Eye Town Council.

A painting of General Sir Edward Kerrison (1774-1853) dominates the council chamber. The general had a distinguished military career, mostly in the 7th Hussars and 14th Light Dragoons. After fighting in the Battle of Waterloo, he retired from active service. He became the Lord of Honour of Eye from 1823 and was MP for the town from 1824 to 1852.

His son, Sir Edward Clarence Kerrison, was also MP for Eye between 1853-1866.

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ETHIC is working on submitting a bid for a Heritage Lottery grant of about £500,000 for improvements to the town tall’s interior.

Members of the public will be able to visit the town chamber to view the portraits. A booklet charting the history of the men and women pictured in the works of art is also available.

The town hall is Grade II-listed.