The Daisy Nook cafe with an LS Lowry on the wall!

Date published: 05 March 2024

Visitors to the John Howarth Countryside Centre and cafe at Daisy Nook will be able to enjoy all the fun of the fair all year round after Silcock’s Fun Fairs donated a life-sized print of a classic LS Lowry painting.

The picture in question, which was painted in 1946 and depicts the Good Friday crowds at Daisy Nook’s famous Easter fair, is a seminal work by Lowry.

It changed hands in 2007 for over £3.7 million, a record at the time for a painting by the Salford artist.

Now part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport collection, for many years it graced the walls of 10 Downing Street and has also been loaned to institutions including The Lowry and Tate Britain.

According to Christies, which the brokered the 2007 sale, “The densely populated canvas is testament to Lowry's skill as a painter.

“At the time that he painted the scene there were only two statutory holidays for mill workers, Christmas Day and Good Friday.

“The Easter fair at Daisy Nook, situated between Droylsden and Failsworth near Manchester, is still held annually and run by the Silcock family, whose name appears in the painting.”

John Silcock, who presented the framed print last month to cafe owner Amy Meadows from Friends of Daisy Nook, is proud of the association between Lowry and Silcock’s.

“Daisy Nook Easter Fair is the jewel in the crown of our family’s touring calendar across the North West and beyond,” said the fairground boss.

“We’re delighted that cafe-goers will be now able to see the event immortalised by LS Lowry in his unique way, and are grateful to Amy and her team for giving the picture pride of place in the Countryside Centre.”

Originally known as the village of Waterhouses, the name Daisy Nook was coined in a book written by Benjamin Brierly in 1855, in which he recounted a ramble to a fictional beauty spot.

The country park by the River Medlock, in the borough of Oldham but rubbing shoulders with Tameside, has been known as Daisy Nook ever since.

Whilst the M60 now passes close by, it still has a rural feel and is a popular destination for walkers and local families - especially at Easter when Silcock’s fair is in town!

“Although there is an industrial chimney just visible on the horizon, the overall mood of the painting is one of holiday and post-war optimism,” said Christie’s of the Lowry painting.

“A multitude of colourful figures throng the painting, children are clutching newly-bought whirligigs and flags and groups of people crowd round the striped fairground tents and queue for the rides on offer.”

This year’s Easter Fair, which takes place from Good Friday, March 29, to Saturday, April 14, is one of the region’s biggest bank holiday funfairs.

Over 50 rides and attractions are promised for all ages.

Entry is free and opening times are 1-6pm.

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