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Mill Girls, Ashton

Harry Rutherford

This is a painting by Harry Rutherford, an important local artist with a national reputation. 

It represents local landmarks whilst also celebrating local industry and its people.

This painting was the cover of ‘John Bull’ magazine in 1948. Here four mill girls climb the steps on Park Parade in Ashton-under-Lyne. In the background loom the Old Wharf and Albion Mills.

The cheery faces of the girls all belong to local beauty Bewley Fletcher. Her face has the classic features of the post-war era. Her hair and clothes distinctly date the work and made it an ideal contemporary magazine cover.

Harry Rutherford was born in Denton but made a name for himself both as an artist and presenter on BBC television. He was taught by Walter Sickert and is now recognised as an important British artist depicting Northern scenes.