Amateur artists in and round Ellesmere are being offered a chance to take part in a local version of the popular TV series ‘Watercolour Challenge’ next month by painting a picture of the landmark building which houses the town’s library.

The invitation to ‘pitch your easel and enjoy a day’s painting’ is the idea of library manager, Sheila Williams, who has arranged for a former contestant on the programme to be one of the judges.

The event will be held from 9.30 on Tuesday, August 1 with gazebos set up to provide shelter for competitors in the grounds of the library, which is part of the Our Space community centre in Trimpley Street.

Sheila explained: “After years of watching the delightful TV programmes, Watercolour Challenge with Hannah Gordon, then Fern Britton and now the Landscape Artist of the Year competition, I thought it would be great to host our own replica.

“Our building is in the former Ellesmere Cottage Hospital, an iconic building with its three large gable ends and quintessential architecture of the Arts and Crafts movement .  It was built in 1906 with money donated by Miss Louisa Jebb, a member of the social-reforming Jebb family and aunt to Eglantyne Jebb and her sister Dorothy, who founded the Save the Children charity.

“The judges for the competition will be local artists Trudi Graham, Pam Bowen and Rosie Rees, who was actually a contestant on the first series of Watercolour Challenge.

“We hope to attract local artists who enjoy a new challenge. They are invited to bring their own easel, materials and paper and use any medium of their choice, watercolour, acrylic, pastels or ink. Variety will make for an interesting combination for the judges to choose from.

“We will be painting under gazebos though if we have very heavy rain forecast we will postpone the event until Friday 4th August.”

The entry fee is £12, to include lunch, or £6 for those bringing their own food. Prizes will be awarded for the top three paintings.

Please book by contacting Our Space on 01691-622584 or emailing

Library assistant Sally Poynter  is all set to welcome local artists to take part in the Watercolour Challenge.

An early picture of Ellesmere Cottage hospital which now houses the town’s library and other community facilities.