A RETIRED teacher has raised over £500 for the Wales Air Ambulance from sales of 2021 calendars featuring his paintings.
Harry Young, who is self-taught and only took up watercolour painting after ringing the bell on his school days a few years ago, and wife Kath thought it was even more appropriate to give to charity in these trying times of coronavirus.
The 79-year-old Builth Wells resident donated all proceeds from sales of the calendar – £589 – to the Wales Air Ambulance.
Harry finished teaching nearly 20 years ago, in 2001, but then worked as a college lecturer teaching the new generation, finally calling it a day in 2013. Since then he has taken up watercolour painting more seriously and likes to feature local scenes in and around Builth, to date capturing 25 differing views.
“It was decided to use these for a Builth 2021 calendar,” said Harry. “Each month captures a scene and with a short write-up it gives an historical overview which provides additional interest.”
Besides the splendour of Harry’s artistry, one scene in-particular is rather intriguing in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic – as the Nant-yr-Arian cottages near Builth Primary School have an all too familiar link to disease.
In the mid-14th century, it is almost certain that the town experienced the Great Plague – the Black Death.
Local tradition dictates that when the plague ravaged Britain the people living in the countryside surrounding Builth left food and provisions for the townspeople on the banks of a brook to the west of town. In return, Builth inhabitants threw money into the brook to pay for the goods in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Plague. As a result the brook became known as ‘Nant-yr-Arian’ or ‘the Money Stream/Brook’, a name which remains embedded in town history today.
“I thought it was appropriate, in these difficult uncertain times, the painting featured for January,” added Harry.
“It was there in the 1300s that money to pay for food provisions was left, with people thinking that the stream would form a barrier to stop the plague from spreading, how wrong they were.”
Harry and Kath would like to thank the local community for their generosity in buying a 2021 calendar.