D’Arcy Collection. Paintings and Prints by Bill Perring. Aviation, Landscapes, Marine, and Figurative.




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A Lancaster bomber returns to an airfield in the north of England


A Limited Edition of 850
Image Size 12" x 22" (305mm x 560mm)
Price £40 inc p+p


Inside his perspex dome, the mid-upper gunner searches the sky, for although the aircraft is on its final approach, a fighter attack is still possible.

On the road below, an Aveling and Porter steam roller is also making its way toward the airfield. Averaging four miles an hour it has traveled overnight to help repair enemy bomb damage. The journey has been an uncomfortable one. The canopy, damaged during an air-raid, has been removed, and the driver and his crew are at the mercy of the damp night air. Now, in the early hours, with the lamp alight and a pot of tea brewing, they watch the huge black bellied plane roar overhead and know they are almost there.

On the canal, the narrow boat is preparing to get underway, and the boatman is already at the farm where his horse has been stabled. He is keen to be off. The boat is carrying materials essential to the war effort, and business is booming - but it is the swan-song for canal working, and it will not be too long before the working boat, like the steam roller and the Lancaster, will be all but gone.

In this painting I have tried to convey the weary stillness of dawn that only those who work through the night really know. But I have also attempted to show the efforts of those whose jobs, although less glamorous, were just as crucial: the steam roller crew on their way to repair bomb damage: the Boatman carrying war materials - and what of the ground crew? Unseen they await the arrival of 'their plane'. It will mean 'tea and a wad' grabbed on the go - but so be it. Tonight, overhauled and with her flak holes patched, they will see her off once again.

I hope this painting brings back the more positive memories for those who lived through those times and conjures up the atmosphere of the period for the who didn't.

Before printing, I showed the finished painting to several people who went over the machinery with a fine tooth comb to make sure I had got the 'nuts and bolts' right, but my favourite comment was from Lancaster Navigator, Les Bartlett. He completely ignored the technicalities and looked for a long while at the trees and the mist

"You know . . . " he said, ". . . That's just what it was like!".

For all enquiries regarding these prints please contact:
Bill Perring
D'Arcy Collection
8 Marlpit Lane

Tel: 01737 555727