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LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist - Permanent Exhibition at The Lowry

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by David Keyworth (subscribe)
Im a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester. My debut poetry pamphlet is available at
The Manchester home where the Welsh Wizard began
A scheme which allows people with Inheritance Tax liabilities to transfer valuable objects to the nation, has given Salford's Lowry Centre the chance to take another painting under its wing.

LS Lowry, Lowry Centre, Manchester, Salford Quays, David Lloyd-George, Acceptance in Lieu tax scheme. Caroline Dinenage MP, Inheritance Tax liabilities
David Lloyd-George's Birthplace, Manchester, by LS Lowry, 1958

The work - a large oil-on-canvas dated 1958 was accepted in lieu of 262,500, by the panel which advises ministers. It depicts the house, in Chorlton-on-Medlock, where David Lloyd-George - prime minister from 19161922 - was born, in January 1863. In 2019 a commemorative plaque was unveiled at the address - 5 New York Place (now called Wadeson Road).

Before becoming the 'first amongst equals' in the First World War coalition government, Lloyd-George had a ground-breaking term as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

His 1908 Old Age Pension Act provided between 1 and 5-shillings per week to the over-70s.

In 1909, he introduced the Peoples Budget. It called for taxes upon unearned increment on the sale of land and on land values, as well as higher death duties, and a supertax on incomes above 3,000. The Conservative majority in the House of Lords rejected it, which in turn led to the Parliament Act of 1911.

Lloyd-George's National Insurance Act of 1911 involved wage-earners making a weekly contribution, topped up by both the employer and state. In return for these payments, free medical attention and medicines were made available, as well as a guaranteed 7-shillings per week unemployment benefit.

It put foundations in place for the establishment of the Welfare State, which took place in the post-war period.

Despite being born in Manchester, Lloyd-George was a Welsh speaker and was described as the 'the most famous Welshman ever born in Manchester' and he was called the 'Welsh Wizard'. In March of 1863, his father, William George, suffering from deteriorating health, returned the family to his native Pembrokeshire.

William had been a teacher at the Hope Street Sunday School in Salford. He died from pneumonia, in June 1864, aged 44. The future prime minister was then brought up in Llanystumdwy in Caernarvonshire by his mother, Elizabeth, and uncle, Richard Lloyd - a shoemaker and co-pastor of a Baptist Chapel.

A temperance supporter, David Lloyd-George, trained as a solicitor and went into practice in Cricieth in 1885 before being elected in 1890 as MP for Caernarfon Boroughs.

Lloyd George led the coalition government into a landslide election victory in 1918 but he resigned in 1922 when the strains between him and the Conservatives, particularly over foreign policy, became untenable.

He died on 26th March 1945, in Ty Newydd, in Llanystumdwy. It was just a few weeks after he was awarded a peerage, which gave him entry to the House of Lords the institution against which he had fought so many battles and had run into personal controversy over - because of accusations regarding the sale of honours.

He was buried, according to his own wishes, in the wooded slope above the river Dwyfor near his home.

The house depicted by Lowry has a vase of threadbare flowers in the window and is somewhat non-descript. It gives no hint of the momentous life that started within it. Only the slightly opened curtains, and the fact that Lowry is depicting in the first place hints at its significance in national history.

The Sothebys catalogue note says:

"Lloyd-George's house on the corner of Hargreaves Street was exactly the kind of dwelling that Lowry would have visited on his rounds as a rent collector, a job that he held despite his increasing renown as an artist as this was the source of his art."

Culture minister, Caroline Dinenage, said: "The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme exists so that we can save important objects and works of art for the public. The news that LS Lowry's portrait of former prime minister David Lloyd-George's birthplace has been acquired by The Lowry, Salford, is testament to the scheme and I look forward to seeing it enjoyed by the local community."

In 2019 the Lowry Centre held the Gala Premiere of Mrs Lowry & Son. Directed by Adrian Noble, the film featured Timothy Spall as the painter and Vanessa Redgrave as his demanding mother Elizabeth.

The Lowry's gallery, where the new arrival will take pride of place, is due to re-open in May, in line with Step 3 of the government's Roadmap out of Lockdown.

LS Lowry, Lowry Centre, Manchester, Salford Quays, David Lloyd-George, Acceptance in Lieu tax scheme. Caroline Dinenage MP, Inheritance Tax liabilities, Winston Churchill
Lloyd George and Winston Churchill in 1907. Churchill, Public Domain, Commons Wikimedia.

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Why? A wealth of Lowry paintings
When: From May 2021
Phone: 0343 208 6000
Where: Lowry Centre, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
Cost: Free
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