Artist criticises lack of signs to help visitors find Dewsbury Museum

WHICH WAY?: Artist Dick Gawthorpe with some of his work.
WHICH WAY?: Artist Dick Gawthorpe with some of his work.

AN AWARD-winning artist has complained that visitors struggled to find his exhibition at Dewsbury Museum because of a lack of signs to the venue.

Richard Gawthorpe, a landscape artist, has exhibited all over the country and was delighted to be given the opportunity to show his paintings in his home town.

But he said it was disappointing that people going to see the paintings had found it difficult to find the museum in Crow Nest Park.

“It is obvious that hundreds of thousands of pounds has been spent on renovating the museum into a most delightful environment. Surely a little more money spent on signing would encourage people to visit,” said Mr Gawthorpe, of Northorpe Lane, Mirfield.

Mr Gawthorpe said the exhibition opened in October but it was only when he took matters into his own hands and marketed it himself that visitor numbers improved.

“It was not until the exhibition opened that I started getting complaints from visitors that they could not find the premises. So I sent out my Christmas cards early and put in directions telling people how to find the gallery. I even had to provide my own sign outside the building telling visitors there was an art show on.”

Mr Gawthorpe said the Grade II listed museum and art gallery were a credit to Kirklees Council with superb facilities and it was a shame if people were missing out on the opportunity to visit because they did not know how to get there.

“From Dewsbury town centre there are only two signs on the road side, the last one showing the entrance to the park. Visitors coming from around the north had difficulty knowing which way to go and taxi drivers took several people to Dewsbury Town Hall or the library.”

Mr Gawthorpe has taken up the issue with Kirklees Council and Mirfield councillors Pat Sutcliffe and Martyn Bolt.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said it was looking at putting up new signs.