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Reuben Chappell painting donated to Goole Museum

Goole Museum in Carlisle Street has received a donation of a Reuben Chappell painting of the vessel Ina, a Humber Keel which plied its trade on the Humber, Ouse and surrounding waterways.

The artist, Reuben Chappell (1870-1940), was a Goole-born, internationally renowned artist of the pierhead painting school of artists, which specialised in ship paintings. During his career, Chappell painted over 12,000 paintings, many of them being vessels which docked at Goole.

His oil and water-colour paintings and sketches are found in numerous galleries and museums throughout the world. There are at least 59 in Denmark, two in the United States and four in Norway. It is estimated that thousands hang in British homes and galleries. Goole Museum has 41 Chappell paintings, the second largest collection, with the largest being at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

The donor of the painting was 100-year-old Laurence ‘Laurie’ Dews, who spent his entire working life (over 50 years) working as a bargeman (‘bargie’) out of Goole on the Humber and River Ouse.

Sadly, Laurie died recently, having only just received one of the first messages for reaching 100 years of age from the new King. Laurie could trace his heritage on the waterways back to his great-grandfather, keelman George Dews (born 1839). Ina, the vessel in the painting donated by Laurie, was captained by his grandfather, Capt. John William Dews (the painting is signed to this effect).

Goole Museum curator Dr Alex Ombler said : “I was intending to visit Laurie and do an oral history interview with him, but sadly I missed the chance. However, fortunately he wrote down his life story, which was published in 2017.

“Come in to the museum and have a look at the latest acquisition, which is on display alongside our other Reuben Chappell works.”

Goole Museum is open: Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturday: 9am to 4pm
Closed for lunch: 12 noon to 12.30pm.

Visitors to the museum can currently access the building via the green fire door next to the regular main entrance.

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