RENOWNED Silsden artists of the 19th and 20th centuries are showcases in a book due to be launched this weekend.

Silsden art enthusiast and retired university lecturer Colin Neville will sign copies of Past Silsden Artists during the coffee morning and exhibition at Silsden Town Hall on Saturday November 9.

Silsden Local History Group will host the event from 9am as part of the town's Remembrance commemorations.

In his new book Mr Neville, who runs the popular website Not Just Hockney about Bradford district artists, focuses on seven artists who exhibited their work widely and won national acclaim.

The book is said to be a fascinating history of home-spun talent being encouraged and developed in surprising circumstances of village life.

He begins with the story of local blacksmith’s son Augustus Spencer (1860-1924) who rose to become principal of the Royal College of Art.

The other artists featured in the book include Jack Clarkson, son of a Silsden clog-iron maker who became a painter, sculptor and wood-carver; Doris Schrecker (nee Wilkinson) who produced portraits and landscapes; and the quiet and reserved Joseph West, whose watercolours of land and seascapes were chosen by galleries throughout the country.

In addition there is Dorothy Wade, whose forte was semi-abstract paintings; art teacher Hildred Harpin from the hamlet of Swartha, who later became a Catholic priest; and the most recent of the artists, sign-writer and cartoonist Stan Boardman, otherwise known as ‘1920s Boy’.

The book costs £5, with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of Silsden Town Hall.