Wivenhoe Artists and The Black Buoy

Wivenhoe has attracted artists for a long time

Gill Strudwick - August 2020

Artists outside The Black Buoy. Standing from left to right: Michael Heard, Pam Dan, John Mead, Gail Cross and Tony Young. Sitting: Alan Taylor, Roy Cross and John Dan
Taken from Nick Butler's book, The Story of Wivenhoe
Alan Taylor, an artist who used to live in Wivenhoe
Bridging the Sea Wall, a painting by Alan Taylor
Gail Cross
Gail & Roy Cross
Tony Young
A painting of Charlie Gunn by Tony Young, painted in the 1960s

Wivenhoe has always attracted artists but after the 2nd World War it became the home to many well-known artists.

During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of artists came to Wivenhoe, such as Roy & Gail Cross, Tony & Sally Young, Alan Taylor, Mike Heard, Ted Atkinson, John & Pam Dan and they congregated in the local pubs such as ‘The Back Buoy’ and ‘The Station’ to drink, play dominoes and cribbage.




In 2020, evidence of Alan Taylor’s work and that of Roy and Gail Cross, and that of Tony Young, was on display in the Black Buoy pub before the Covid-19 lockdown which occurred in March 2020.  Alan Taylor also kindly allowed the Wivenhoe History Group to use the images he had made for the Wivenhoe Pub Trail leaflet.


Works of art on display in The Black Buoy in March 2020

Alan Taylor

Alan was born in Middlesex, and in 1963 came to Wivenhoe to study at Colchester School of Art.  He later studied at Stourbridge College of Art, and at Sussex University. He now lives in France. This painting depicts a local scene which involved some residents and University students mending a gap in the sea wall.

See Alan’s bright cards in the Wivenhoe bookshop and on his website:  www.paintingstore.net


The popular artistic couple – Gail and Roy Cross (now both deceased)


Gail Cross (dec’d)

Gail came from London and was often referred to as the ‘Chelsea Girl’.  She trained in photography but enjoyed painting.  She was married to the artist Roy Cross, and they came to Wivenhoe in the late 1950s.

They were a very attractive couple and at this time were referred to as the ‘Burton and Taylor’ of Wivenhoe.


Roy Cross (dec’d)

Roy was a very talented artist and he encouraged other artists to come to Wivenhoe in the 1960s.

He studied at Liverpool School of Art and in later years became Head of Art at St. Helena School in Colchester.  He was famous for his sweeping abstract marks with thick oil paint.    


Tony Young (dec’d)

Tony Young was born in 1940.  He had no formal art training, but was well known in Wivenhoe for his artistic talent.  He was also a successful picture framer and he lived in Station Road.

Tony’s local was ‘The Station’ and this art-work is thought to be of Charlie Gunn who also frequented this pub, was a drinking companion and a local character, who lived on his boat on The Quay. See picture.

Tony was an active member of Wivenhoe Arts Club during the 1960s and was part of a small group who started the May Fair.



George Gale and the  Wivenhoe Arts Club

When George Gale of Ballast Quay House decided to create an Arts Club in his former stables and coach house, this group of artists became long serving members of the Wivenhoe Arts Club. See the link at the end of this page to find out more about the Wivenhoe Arts Club.


After World War II

After the 2nd World War famous artists such as Dennis Wirth Miller and Richard Chopping came to live in Wivenhoe.  Later in the 1970s John Doubleday and Ernie Turner brought their fame to Wivenhoe.  Ernie Turner used to exhibit his paintings in the Brewery Tavern.

Now in 2020 many talented artists and creative people live and work in Wivenhoe.  The work below is by Alison Stockmarr who lives in Wivenhoe.


Links to other pages in this website:

This page was added on 15/09/2020.

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