Rare painting of Worcester Park will raise funds for St Raphael's Hospice
An art lover who returned an 85-year-old painting of Worcester Park to the area is using it to raise money for St Raphael’s Hospice.
Richard Johnson, 42, an office manager, stumbled across the painting online while searching for old photographs of the area.
He bought the 1926 oil painting for £200 from the auctioneer in Canterbury and decided to investigate its creator, and where it was painted.
Mr Johnson tried to relocate the artist Jack Ducker's viewpoint using auction records and by contacting the local historian and author David Rymill.
After much investigation it became clear that Sparrow Farm Road, opposite the entrance to Nonsuch Park, fitted the historic painting’s criteria perfectly.
Mr Johnson decided to create a postcard of the painting, with the intention of donating all the profits to St Raphael’s Hospice in North Cheam.
He said: "This painting predated modern Worcester Park as we recognise it, not with the familiar lines of semi-detached houses, but as farmland, during a time that was largely unrecorded by artists or photographers.
"It was only in the 1930s that suburban housing and residents arrived in quantity.
"So here it was - a rare record of Worcester Park - at a time when it still was a park.
"Eighty-five years after it had been completed, the painting arrived back home, even if the attractive, rural scene that had inspired the artist had long-since gone in the intervening decades.
"I began to wonder where exactly the artist’s viewpoint had been. Would it be possible to relocate it? One thing that was known was that the artist was J. M. Ducker."
The owner of the kiosk at Worcester Park station has kindly allowed Mr Johnson to sell the charity postcards which cost £1.
Mr Johnson is also hoping to sell the postcards in other locations across the borough. If the postcards prove popular with customers he is happy to place another order.
To visit Mr Johnson’s blog about the artist Jack Ducker visit jmducker.blogspot.co.uk.