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Memorial of Wellington bomber which flew from RAF Feltwell during the Second World War to be painted on wall at pub

PUBLISHED: 16:27 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:26 28 June 2017

Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

The skies above West Norfolk were once filled with the sounds of Vickers Wellington Bombers as they conducted their countless missions to mainland Europe during the Second World War.

Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

And to celebrate the historic aircraft and the bravery of its crews, which were based at RAF Feltwell, a pub in the village has commissioned an aviation artist to paint a memorial.

Colin Mason, who owns the Arts Lounge Gallery in Swaffham, will spend the next year creating the artwork of the aircraft and its crew on a 60ft wall at the Wellington pub - named in honour of the bomber.

The artist, who spent 22 years as a pilot in the RAF and has always had a passion for painting, said the project was a “labour of love” and will spend his free time and evenings completing the artwork.

The 69-year-old, who lives in Oxborough, said: “It is an absolute privilege to have been asked to paint something so rewarding as this, as it is something an artist wouldn’t normally do.

Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Artist Colin Mason is commissioned by landlords Chris Samuels and Chris Grandison at The Wellington Pub depicting the aircraft. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

“When you can do something for pleasure and give other people pleasure it is brilliant.”

Mr Mason was the Battle of Britain artist in 2010 and painted a montage consisting of a Spitfire and Hurricane flying over Bentley Priory.

The painting on the pub’s wall will show the crew members from the 75th New Zealand Squadron waiting by their aircraft as it is being bombed up.

Mr Mason said: “I get thoroughly engrossed in the emotion of the painting and it will be a slow process because when you are painting a memorial for all the crews it has to be accurate.”

A New Zealand squadron groundcrew with two Wellington bombers at RAF Feltwell. The picture was taken in 1941. Picture: Archant LibraryA New Zealand squadron groundcrew with two Wellington bombers at RAF Feltwell. The picture was taken in 1941. Picture: Archant Library

He added: “There are an awful lot of people who have no idea what went on in the area or about its history so being part of a team to keep it alive is brilliant.

“Hopefully the painting will add to the terrific atmosphere that prevails in the pub.”

The painting will require four coats of acrylic paint, topped off with stove enamels​ and coated in two coats of varnish to seal the work.

Chris Samuels, co-landlord of the pub, said: “We are so proud to be able to commemorate the village history. The air force, be it British or American, has had such an impact on Feltwell. It is nice to be able to host such a fitting memorial and act of remembrance which should last for a long time.”

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