Charity boosted by Betty Boothroyd’s gift

A painting donated to charity by Betty Boothroyd will go under the hammer this month and the auctioneer hopes it will fetch hundreds to help visually impaired people across the region.

The framed oil painting of a colliery was given to leading West Midlands charity the Beacon Centre for the Blind by the former speaker of the House of Commons when she retired.

The creation depicts a colliery in Yorkshire which is close to Dewsbury where Ms Boothroyd was born – it is thought the art hung in her office at the House of Commons and reminded her of her childhood.

Painted by renowned artist Edna Lumb, famous for her portrayals of the industrial landscape, the picture, together with Ms Boothroyd’s original signature on House of Commons stationery, will go on sale at Fielding’s Auctioneers in Stourbridge on Saturday 26 April.

Bill Lacey, picture consultant at Fielding’s Auctioneers, says the painting will be part of a collection called ‘Decades of Design.’

He said: “Edna Lumb is well known for painting her pictures ‘on-site’ and gained a reputation as a poet of the built environment and particularly of the industrial heritage.

“The coal mine was a typical subject matter for Lumb and she tended to favour industrial landscapes in particular collieries, engine houses and construction sites.

“I expect this piece to fetch at least £300 in auction but I hope it will raise much more as the funds are going towards a very worthy cause.”

The money raised from the sale of the painting will help the Beacon Centre support people with sight loss live fuller and more independent lives. The charity offers local people the finest facilities and support, from providing permanent accommodation in Wolverhampton, to advising people about the specialist equipment available, to practical advice on living with sight loss skills.

To bid on the painting visit or call Bill Lacey for more information on 01384 444140

To find out more about the Beacon Centre call 01902 880 111 or visit