A TALENTED artist has put her skills to good use in the most trying of times with an incredible portrait of her local pub’s regular patrons.

Blackburn artist Christine Westcott, created the artwork after regulars at the Hare and Hounds on Lammack Road decided to show their appreciation for landlord Ian Robertson.

Ms Westcott brought her artistic sensibilities into play and her portrait was the result.

Landlord Ian Robertson said: “We’ve come through a lot over the past seven months but what it has done is strengthened our sense of community and our coming together.

“Christine Westcott has captured our community in the best way possible and today we were taken by complete surprise by the masterpiece she has created celebrating all that is good about our local people in our local pub.

“Our life is our friends and we are blessed to be in this town, Blackburn, with the best people possible, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Regular customers agreed with these sentiments.

Explaining how it came about, Hare and Hounds patron Stan Cox said: “The Hare and Hounds in Lammack Blackburn is the centre of a community that many people including myself rely on for more than just a pint in the local.

“During the worst of the pandemic, Ian Robertson and the amazing staff working alongside him, acted as pillars to hold up our small community, something which for a lot of us helped to a degree that words cannot describe."

Fellow regular Andy Davies added: "We wanted to do something that would remind us of the community spirit during the lockdown and for all the work Ian did to keep the community together and engaged during these months, we could have doubled the number of people on the painting but the wall just wasn't big enough!"

Such morale boosting efforts are crucial in what has been one of the most difficult periods for the industry in living memory.

Mr Cox said: “Let’s raise a glass and a smile at a community coming together.”