Good response to picture appeal

AN APPEAL for help from readers of the East Anglian Daily Times in tracing the location of a Suffolk farmhouse in a picture by the late John Western drew an excellent response.

AN APPEAL for help from readers of the East Anglian Daily Times in tracing the location of a Suffolk farmhouse in a picture by the late John Western drew an excellent response.

Gilbert Sills, a friend of Mr Western, was flooded with telephone calls and letters by people trying to identify a drawing dated 1979 of a farmhouse.

Mr Sills narrowed them down to four sites but he has not yet been able to identify the exact location and his search has been hampered because he has not been able to find some of the buildings suggested by readers.

Locations in Saxtead, Chediston, the Debenham to Kenton road and Theberton Road coming out of Kelsale were among those put forward by readers.

Mr Sills, of Clopton Road, Monewden, said a building on the Debenham to Kenton road could be a possibility but his search was thwarted by fading light on a winter's afternoon.

Mr Sills is putting together a collection of Mr Western's drawings, sketches and watercolours in a book on the artist's fascination with barns. He also appealed for EADT readers to offer the artist's pictures of barns for inclusion in the book.

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The picture of the farmhouse was eye-catching because it had a wash house or shed with a chimney at right angles to the house. These buildings were normally behind or to the side of the main house.

Mr Sills said: ''We got an amazing response to the newspaper article. I probably got about 15 people call with barn pictures and about 15 to 20 people about the John Western drawing, so it was a hit.

''People still keep ringing up days after the article as though they had put it to one side and remembered to call when they were about to use it to light a fire.''

Mr Western, who died in a drowning on the River Deben 10 years ago, was passionate about old barns which were no longer used for agricultural purposes and were left to collapse. Anyone with the artist's pictures of barns who would like them to be considered for publication in the book can contact Mr Sills on 01473 737467.

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