Press Release from Salix Homes
World renowned artist Harold Riley will unveil a plaque in his home-city to commemorate one of his former subjects – Shelagh Delaney.
Salford-born artist Mr Riley will unveil the plaque during a special ceremony on Wednesday, September 3 at Number 77 Duchy Road, Salford – the childhood home of playwright Shelagh Delaney.
Mr Riley, who still lives and works in Salford, has a special connection with the critically acclaimed writer after he did a pen and pastel portrait of her in the 1960’s.
Housing provider Salix Homes, which now manages the property where Shelagh grew up, is installing a plaque on her former home to commemorate her life and invited Mr Riley as guest of honour.
Mr Riley said: “Shelagh Delaney and I were extremely close friends and I loved her very much. We had a great deal in common as we were both from Salford but more in a spiritual sense. I am delighted to have been invited to unveil this plaque on the former home of my dear friend.”
Mr Riley has dedicated much of his career to capturing Salford and its people through his paintings, drawings and photographs.
His deep affection for the city cemented his famous friendship with L.S Lowry, who he first met when he was a student, and the pair worked on a project together to document life in Salford through their art.
Like Mr Riley, Shelagh had a deep affection for her home-city, and it provided the inspiration for her most famous play – A Taste of Honey – which she penned when she was just 18 years old from her home in Duchy Road.
A Taste of Honey was set in 1950s Salford and enjoyed a run of success on Broadway before it was adapted into an award-winning film in 1961.
Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “Like Harold Riley, Shelagh Delaney was a very proud Salfordian who was passionate about the city where she grew up and this was reflected in her work.
“We are very proud to honour Shelagh Delaney with this plaque on her childhood home, which will ensure her vast achievements are never forgotten. We are delighted that Mr Riley has agreed to perform the ceremony for us and believe it to be a fitting tribute to one of Salford’s most famous daughters.”
Shelagh, who was born on November 25, 1938, was one of the first working class, female playwrights. She sadly died in November 2011, but will also be remembered later this year during the inaugural Shelagh Delaney Day on November 25, which would have been her 76th birthday.
Shelagh Delaney Day will be marked with a host of performances, exhibitions and public talks with events and competitions held to promote young talent in the city.
Mr Riley, whose commissioned painted portraits include Prince Philip and Nelson Mandela, has an archive and studio at Fire Station Square, The Crescent, Salford. To find out more go to www.rileyarchive.com