Ann Widdecombe drops in on her Olveston portrait

May 31 2017

A PAINTING of Ann Widdecombe created to promote Thornbury Arts Festival and the Severn Vale Arts Trail received a seal of approval from the former Shadow Home Secretary herself.

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A PAINTING of Ann Widdecombe created to promote Thornbury Arts Festival and the Severn Vale Arts Trail received a seal of approval from the former Shadow Home Secretary herself.

Miss Widdecombe dropped by to see the portrait in Olveston before going on to officially launch the festival.

The painting was the work of village artist and art trail participant Angus Macaskill, who creates pictures when inspired by the latest news and then displays them on the gates of his Churchill House home for passers-by to see.

His image of Miss Widdecombe was based on an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time programme and also featured its presenter David Dimbleby.

When told about the painting, Miss Widdecombe was keen to see it so stopped off to meet Mr Macaskill ahead of her appointment in Thornbury.

She said the picture was “very amusing” and happily posed alongside it. She also said Olveston looked a lovely place in which to live.

The festival’s special guest, who became one of the most popular contestants on Strictly Come Dancing, then went on to the Armstrong Hall to give a talk about her life within and outside politics, before answering questions from the audience.

Other highlights of the nine-day festival included comedy drama from the Reduced Shakespeare Company, concerts by folk singer Cara Dillon and the electric string band Stringfever, as well as a talk on genetics by leading scientist Professor Robert Winston.

Lord Winston also visited the Castle School earlier on the day of his visit to talk to students.

The festival committee said comments received from those attending events had indicated it was one of the best ever and a big success.