Book on Letchworth artist hits the shelves

AN ILLUSTRATED book on the work of a Comet country artist hit the shelves at the weekend after members of the public stepped in to help fund it.

Entitled William Ratcliffe: Paintings, Prints and Drawings, the book on the Letchworth GC artist went on sale on Saturday and is the first of its kind to be published about Ratcliffe, who lived in the area for many years during the early 20th century.

After grants from Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, Letchworth Civic Trust, Letchworth Garden City Society and the Exhibition Cottages Group, a further �1,500 was needed for the project by North Herts District Council’s Museum Service to go ahead but more than 35 people responded to its plea, reported by The Comet in January.

The book, written by NHDC cultural services manager Ros Allwood, includes more than 100 colour illustrations by Ratcliffe, who was a founder member of the Camden Town Group of artists.

“This book is very special,” said Cllr Tricia Cowley, NHDC portfolio holder for community engagement.

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“It is the first comprehensive look at the work of a great artist who painted Letchworth, Ickleford and Baldock, and loved it here.

“It is also special because groups and individuals have joined together to raise the money to make it possible. It reflects the spirit of the Garden City and it would have meant a lot to William Ratcliffe. It is a valuable resource for us all and a beautiful book to own.”

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Copies, priced at �10, are available from Letchworth Museum in Broadway and Hitchin Museum, Paynes Park.

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