Art felt gesture for hospice campaign

Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.
Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.
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Leonard Rodwell has a condition that can’t be cured, a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

But despite his bleak predicament, he has done something which will help the lives of many people.

Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.

Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.

An accomplished artist, the 84-year-old has decided to donate his lifelong collection of paintings to Trinity Hospice.

And they are so good, Trinity have decided to put them on display in an exhibition before they go on sale.

Mr Rodwell said: “It is fantastic to think all the paintings I have done will go in an exhibition – that is something I have always wanted because painting has been a passion of mine for so long.

“But the main thing is for Trinity to make some money out of this, and if it helps other people in the long run then I will be very pleased.”

Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.

Artist Leonard Rodwell is donating his paintings to Trinity Hospice.

Mr Rodwell, who has lived in Blackpool since he was six-months-old and went to Tyldesley school, is suffering from mesothelioma.

He probably contracted the disease while working in various old buildings during his career as a heating engineer.

He added: “It feels as if I can’t breathe and I can’t believe how quickly it has taken hold.

“I was fine at the start of the year. I used to go out walking.

“Now the doctors have said there is nothing more they can do.”

He began painting in his 40s by chance.

“There was a space above the fireplace that needed filling so I thought I’d try and paint something,” he said.

“It turned out well and I realised I might actually be quite good at it.”

Mr Rodwell, who lives with wife Maureen on Common Edge Road, Marton but is visited by Trinity nurses, has since completed more than 300 paintings, all of which he has decided to give to the Hospice.

Bosses there are hugely grateful for the donation.

Mark Johnson, Trinity’s redistribution centre manager, said: “One of our nurses told us there was a gentleman who wanted to gift us some paintings. We were utterly amazed when we called at his house and discovered hundreds of works.

“Not only are they of the highest quality but the vast majority depict scenes in Blackpool and represent a unique record of the town’s social history.

“We are so grateful to Mr Rodwell, it is hugely kind and generous of him to give them to us.”

Mr Rodwell’s paintings will form a major part of the Collections exhibition, which started at Grundy Art Gallery this week.

Curator Richard Parry said: “Mr Rodwell’s work is excellent and you only get an idea of how good it is when you see it hung in the gallery.”

After the exhibition ends in January, Trinity hope to sell the paintings with all money raised going to the Hospice funds.