Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Follow the red footprints to find Gallery

Mayor Martin Akehurst and Councillor Pam Phillips
FOOTPRINTS are being used to lure more visitors to the Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley.

The bright red prints, which have the word “Gallery” and an arrow pointing people in the right direction, lead from the town hall to the gallery behind it in Upper Market Place.

The town council, which owns the gallery and offers it for hire, came up with the idea about three years ago as the venue was not being used enough.

On Tuesday, the prints were finally put in place with the last one being laid by Mayor Martin Akehurst. Councillor Pam Phillips, who chairs the council’s Old Fire Station Gallery working group, said the gallery was a “wonderful” space for artists to display their work but under-used.

“Because it’s tucked behind the town hall even people who have lived in Henley for decades still don’t know where it is,” she said. The council paid for the prints, which will not damage the York stone pavements and can be removed if necessary.

Cllr Phillips said: “I’m cock-a-hoop and if my legs were longer I’d be skipping along the footprints!” Councillor Akehurst said: “The gallery is a wonderful asset for Henley, providing a space to put on exhibitions at fairly short notice. I think the footsteps are going to help people find it.”

Judith Fletcher, of Henley Arts and Crafts Guild, which holds exhibitions at the gallery, said she hoped the footprints would serve their purpose.

“They’re fun and art is all about enjoying yourself,” she added.

Cllr Phillips added that her group was also considering installing a board near the town hall to draw people’s attention to the gallery.

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