Odeon Old Street
- Tameside landmarks of past and present are the subject of a new exhibition at Central Art Gallery, Ashton-under-Lyne. Local artist Vanessa Dixon charts the changing face of the borough through her vibrant paintings of Ashton and neighbouring areas. Vanessa was born in the Waterloo area of Ashton and started painting in the early-1970s. Largely self-taught, her first works were landscapes painted in her spare time while she pursued a career in nursing. In recent years Vanessa felt inspired to document Ashton as it underwent redevelopment, as well as to paint historic scenes of the old town that are fondly remembered today. Various incarnations of Tameside Hippodrome, for example, are captured in a series of paintings depicting the landmark throughout its history. Known as the ‘Empire’ theatre when it first opened in 1904, the building was converted into the ‘New Empire’ and later ‘ABC’ cinemas, before returning to theatrical use by the end of the century. Other paintings of the local area include scenes of Daisy Nook, Portland Basin, Mossley Whit Walks and a wedding at Duckinfield Town Hall. Vanessa’s work also captures the bustling market area of modern-day Ashton and the picturesque network of canals that wind their way through the borough.