Tributes paid to grand old artist

Artist Stanley Warburton (93) of Coronation Road, St Annes. Pictured with his self-portrait as a young man.
Artist Stanley Warburton (93) of Coronation Road, St Annes. Pictured with his self-portrait as a young man.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran Fylde artist who died suddenly at the age of 93.

Stanley Warburton, of Fairhaven, was a former colleague of LS Lowry with close artistic links to Prince Charles and gained a whole new legion of fans when his work was the subject of an exhibition at the Fylde Gallery in Lytham earlier this year.

A glowing tribute was paid by former Fylde Mayor Coun Howard Henshaw, who had recently sat for a portrait by Mr Warburton .

“Although I had not met Stanley prior to being Mayor of Fylde in 2011-12, I was well aware of his talents through my father who was an artist himself and president of Blackpool Art Society on two occasions,” said Coun Henshaw.

“When I was asked to open his personal exhibition at the Fylde Gallery, however, we established an immediate rapport and met on several subsequent occasions during my Mayoral year.

“Stanley remembered my father, Hubert, with affection, although he died more than 15 years ago and he was particularly tickled when I took him home in the Mayoral car and arranged for the Mayor’s attendant, Alan Blundell, to bring him to my birthday party at the Town Hall, in May this year.

“In fact, Stanley also asked if he could paint my portrait towards the end of the Mayoral year, when I had two sittings in the Mayor’s Parlour which were quite hilarious.

“I believe he was just putting the finishing touches to my painting when he died and that his friends are endeavouring to locate it and hand it over to me in the next few weeks.”

Mr Warburton was understood to have known Prince Charles quite well, through their association with the JMW Turner Society, of which Mr Warburton was vice-president.

“I believe that Prince Charles often used to telephone Stanley out of the blue, to ask his advice, when he was experiencing difficulties with his own paintings,” added Coun Henshaw.

“He was a truly remarkable and very talented old man who lived life to the full right up to the end.”

Margaret Race, who chairs the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, added: “He was a lovely man and his death was so sudden. We worked closely together organising the exhibition of his work and he was a delight to deal with – so talented.”

Mr Warburton, whose funeral was at Lytham Park Crematorium earlier this week, leaves a wife Sheila, son Dan and grandson Max.