Taffiators set for first Welsh take off

Welsh aviation artists – nicknamed ‘The Taffiators’ – are reaching for the skies tomorrow (Thursday) with an exhibition ‘first’ in Wales.

The members of the prestigious Guild of Aviation Artists will be displaying their work at a month-long exhibition at the Sunderland Trust’s newly opened Fleets to Flying Boats Visitor Centre in Pembroke Dock.

The exhibition is being sponsored by Valero Pembroke Refinery.

Pembrokeshire-born artist Tim Jenkins, now of Felinfoel; James Field of Pontyberem; John Wynne Hopkins of Llanelli, and Ieuan Layton-Matthews of Gowerton will be exhibiting along with three other guild members.

The exhibition opens tomorrow, Friday, August 24th, at the new centre, the latest initiative of the Sunderland Trust which already operates a centre focusing on the town’s unique connections with flying boats, particularly the famous Short Sunderland.

“This is the first time the guild has been involved in an exhibition in Wales and we are delighted to take up the Sunderland Trust’s invitation,” said Tim Jenkins.

“Over 70 paintings will be on view and for sale and they cover all eras of aviation – from the earliest days of flying to the latest jets and there are also several military subjects from campaigns in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

“Sunderlands, of course, feature prominently.

“There is a strong Welsh flavour to the paintings, ranging from pioneers like Horace Watkins of Cardiff, Great War fighter ace Ira Jones of St Clears and his Second World War counterpart, Taffy Higginson, to jets at Brawdy and search and rescue Sea King helicopters.”

Alison Kavanagh, of Valero Pembroke Refinery, added: “Valero are very pleased to sponsor this first ever Welsh exhibition by the guild. I have had a preview of the exhibition and it is very impressive.”

● The exhibition will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. The Fleets to Flying Boats Centre is at the Fleet Surgeon’s House adjoining the gated entrance to the Royal Dockyard at Pembroke Dock.

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