Auctioned Geoff Butterworth painting raises £1,900 for Springhill Hospice

Date published: 28 November 2019

A beautiful Geoff Butterworth watercolour original painting has been auctioned off, raising £1,900 for Springhill Hospice.

Commissioned by Paul Ellison of Rochdale in Bloom, the painting, which depicts Rochdale Memorial Gardens with the historic town hall in the background, was donated by the artist to be auctioned to raise money for the hospice.

The auction concluded during this year’s Man of Rochdale ceremony on Friday (22 November), where John Swinden, 2017's Man of Rochdale, was named as the highest bidder.

Mr Butterworth presented Mr Swinden with the painting, which took three days to paint.

10 limited edition prints were also produced and sold on a first-come, first-served basis with a donation from each print being donated towards the hospice, which costs £3.2million a year - or £8,928 every day - to keep open. From the prints, an extra £1,000 was donated to the hospice.


The World War One Memorial Garden and Town Hall painting
The World War One Memorial Garden and Town Hall painting


Mr Swinden said: "The idea of the garden is fabulous, and the soldier silhouettes look fabulous.

"I go to the cenotaph every year for my uncle, who was only 18 when he died in World War Two. For me, this picture brings together Rochdale, the soldiers, the town hall and the garden. 

"Geoff is a superb guy and a great artist, who has always supported me. 

"I was delighted to be the highest bidder for such a good cause which means so much to me in several ways."

Mr Ellison said: "The amount raised has exceeded expectations. Geoff's marvellous work and efforts have helped raise money for a great cause, and I'm happy that the collaboration between Rochdale In Bloom and Geoff has raised so much."

Mr Ellison was named as one of two Men of Rochdale this year alongside Ray Smith, chairman of Pennines In Bloom.

Mr Butterworth added: "Several of the prints sold before I got to the town hall, so that was a good start. The bid on the painting was £1,500 and soon went up to £1,900, thanks to John bidding against himself in the excitement of it all. 

"All in all it was very good as we raised at £2,900."


Paul Ellison, Geoff Butterworth and John Kay with the painting
One of this year's two Men of Rochdale, Paul Ellison, artist Geoff Butterworth and John Kay, the outgoing Man of Rochdale, with the painting


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