About this picture
The Blenheim at North Shields
Alan R. Cook
This fine oil painting by Alan Reid Cook depicts the Fred Olsen Cruise Line ferry, The Blenheim, passing North Shields.
The Blenheim was the first of a fleet of new ships brought into service by the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines in 1951. The ship was named the Blenheim, in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who had been born at Blenheim Palace, the Churchill family seat.
She was built by Thornycroft & Co Ltd and The Blenheim sailed the route between Oslo and Newcastle from 1951 until 1968.
From the 1930s, the funnels on Olsen ships – which had been painted black with a red band bearing the family’s flag on either side – became buff yellow. The flag, white with its swallow tail and with a blue dot and a diagonal blue bar, had first been flown by the second Fred Olsen on his racing yacht in the 1890’s.
oil on board
Image size: 49 cm x 75 cm
About the artist
Alan Reid COOK, RSMA, PS (1920-1974)
Marine and landscape painter in oil, pastel and watercolour.
Born at Gateshead. After WW2 he decided to become an art teacher and trained at Canterbury Art School. On completing his studies he taught art at Ralph Gardiner School and North Tyneside College.
Exhibited at the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Artists of the Northern Counties exhibitions at the Laing Art Gallery.
In 1973 he was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (the only artist in that year elected as a member). In the same year he was elected a member of the Pastel Society.
His work is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Shipley Art Gallery and other public and private collcetions.