Campaigner for Corby art gallery dies

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A well-known Corby artist and campaigner has died aged 89.

James Lockhart, who held a solo exhibition in 2012 aged 85, was also a Bevin Boy during World War II.

Known as Jim, he campaigned for Corby to get its own art gallery for many years, and was delighted when it finally did so when the Rooftop Gallery launched in the former library in Queen’s Square.

His 2012 exhibition there, entitled Last of the Summer Wine, featured his own work including some pieces entitled My War, depicting his time as a Bevin Boy enlisted to help the war effort by working in the mines.

There was also a film shown about Jim, called Cultured and Captivating, made by Martin Steed.

At the time, Corby author Paula Boulton, said; “Jim has painted since he was 14 and has exhibited many times outside the town but never in Corby itself.

“His plea for gallery space spurred the creation of the new Rooftop Gallery in the town centre.”

Jim, 89, lived in East Avenue in the old village. He was also part of the construction team that built Crown House which was demolished in 2013.

His wife Irene Elizabeth died in 2000. He is survived by two sons, Andrew and James.

Andrew said: “He was a real character and was very well-known in Corby.

“He was a very prolific artist so you can imagine there are lots of paintings to go through.

“But when we’ve done that, we’ll hold an exhibition at the Rooftop Gallery to auction some of them off for charity.”

Jim’s funeral will be held at Rothwell Methodist Church on September 29 at 11am followed by a burial in Rothwell at 11.45am.