'Graham's Gallery' will help light up Bowes at Christmas
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
ONE of the leading lights behind a dale village’s festive celebrations will be remembered at a fundraising event this weekend.
Graham Henley joined the Bowes Christmas Lights organising committee when it was established last year.
Sadly, Mr Henley died aged 71 earlier this year after suffering from terminal cancer.
Before his death, he suggested that a pop up art gallery be set up for a day in Bowes and Gilmonby Village Hall, with residents asked to submit their pieces and a silent auction organised to buy the work, with all funds going towards the festive lights display.
Mr Henley’s fellow Christmas lights committee members have picked up the baton, and “Graham’s Gallery” will be open between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, October 19, with the results of the silent auction revealed from 6pm.
The evening will conclude with an auction of art from the village’s professional artists.
Lynn Todhunter, treasurer of the lights committee, said there had been a good response to Mr Henley idea.
“Graham was an enthusiastic and active member of Bowes Christmas Lights and it was his wish to hold this event,” she said.
“We have 85 entries which people have paid £1 to enter, all of which have been framed for the exhibition.”
Pieces of art have come from all sections of the community, from school children to semi-professional and full time artists resident in the village, added Ms Todhunter.
“This is the first time we have done anything like this,” she added.
Admission to the exhibition is free, however, a catalogue of all the pieces has been produced and will be on sale for £1 and there will be refreshments available throughout the day.
Mr Henley was a keen supporter of events in Bowes having moved to the village with his wife in 2003.
He was known as a passionate performer and supporter of live music and the arts, acting as the promoter for performances at the village hall as well as his involvement in activities ranging from a ukulele group to Singing for the Brain sessions at Barnard Castle Methodist Church for those living with dementia and their carers.
He even arranged for the announcement of his own death to be posted on social media when he passed away in April.
Anyone requiring further information about the Graham’s gallery fundraiser can contact 07825 369512.