A brush with the past

Robert Haworth has found a painting of his in a charity shop on Lytham Road.
Robert Haworth has found a painting of his in a charity shop on Lytham Road.
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A man who turned to art to cope as he passed through more than 100 children’s homes was surprised to stumble across a painting he did aged just 10 in a charity shop in South Shore.

Robert Haworth, 39, says as long as he remembers he has always had his pencils and 
paper in hand in case inspiration struck and he wanted to draw something.

But as he grew older he used art as a way to escape his troubles moving from care home to care home, and to foster families around the country.

He said he would leave his bedrooms filled with hundreds of paintings and drawings.

This week, as he was dropping his youngest children to Village Nursery on Lytham Road, he spotted one of his earlier masterpieces in the window of Blackpool Nine Lives Cat Rescue, next door.

He said: “It’s really strange how my painting just happened to be in the window at that time – it’s really bizarre.

“It’s a nice feeling, and it’s so great to think my art will be enjoyed by future generations.”

The painting was donated to the charity shop along with other items to be sold.

Christine Meryem from the shop said: “What are the chances of this happening? It’s a lovely painting.”

Robert, of Warley Road, Blackpool, was put into care when he was 15 months old and moved through 120 different children homes and foster carers before he took himself out of the system, age 16.

Life, he says, was a struggle for him, but at his lowest points he always turned to art to help him through.

“Art helped me change my life around – it saved my life,” he said.

“Living in so many care homes was horrible and when I got out I was hanging out in the wrong crowds and getting into trouble.

“I got myself out and started taking my art more seriously.”

Robert, a father of seven, completed an art degree at the University of Central Lancashire and has had his work displayed in galleries all over England.