Well travelled

19th March 2024 | posted in News

Having travelled the world with the Royal Navy, late-blooming artist Charles Bainbridge has plenty of memories to draw on for his paintings.

And winning our first crafting competition was a remarkable achievement for Charles, 75, who only took up painting when he retired at 63.

“I was looking after my mum and the Gateshead Carers Association, who used to put on some respite events for carers, asked if I’d be interested in trying a new art class,” recalls Charles. 

“I hadn’t painted since leaving school to join the navy at 15 but my motto has always been to give things a go and I’m glad I did.”

During his time in the navy Charles served on the Ark Royal and HMS Hermes, visiting Singapore, Hong Kong, Fort Lauderdale US, Canada, Australia, and many other places, and the first painting he ever did was of a tall ship.

When he came out of the navy after 12 years he worked as a carpenter and then later in the oil storage industry in London and finally as a courier and driver.    

Also a keen gardener, he’s combined this with his carpentry skills to create a terraced garden with an artist’s shed in a prime spot at his Railway Housing Association home.

“The front opens out so allows plenty of light and room to work in,” said Charles whose work has sold locally and who is currently working on a commission of a Buddhist temple.

Charles says he likes the freedom Railway Housing gives residents to adapt their homes and gardens to their individual tastes.

“I’ve developed the garden with layers, fruit trees and bushes as well as a herb garden and greenhouse,” said Charles. “With the house itself I’ve been able to build an extension and fit a new kitchen of our choice.”  

And his artistic skills have also come in handy. His home is 100 years old this year and to mark the landmark Charles has repainted the original plaque with gold lettering.


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