The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor John Jowers, and His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, yesterday (6 February 2024) unveiled a specially commissioned painting of the Platinum Jubilee Gun Salute.
The ceremony, held in the Civic Suite, was attended by some of those who proudly participated in the historic event.
The artwork, created by local artist and serving Army Reserve officer Hugh Beattie, captures a unique moment in Colchester’s history – the celebration of both Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and the grant of city status.
The decision to commission the painting was made by Colchester City Council and funded through the civic budget in 2022, recognising the significance of the Platinum Jubilee Gun Salute. Taking place on 2 June 2022, the 42-gun salute by Colchester-based 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery resonated through the city centre, marking a once-in-a-lifetime event and serving as a powerful symbol of community and national pride.
“This painting is not just a beautiful piece of art, it is a historical record of a truly special day for Colchester,” said the Mayor. “We are incredibly grateful to Hugh Beattie for his talent and dedication in bringing this moment to life.
“Yesterday’s unveiling served as a poignant reminder of the significance of the Platinum Jubilee and the distinction of our city status that will doubtless endure in our collective memory.”
Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Farrell, Commanding Officer of 7 Para RHA, said: “The Regiment has been based in Colchester for more than 20 years, and we are hugely proud to call the city home. It’s an honour to fire our guns in Colchester Castle Park, a Royal saluting station, to mark royal occasions such as birthdays and jubilees.
“This is a fantastic painting that records a special moment in Colchester and the Regiment’s history.”
Hugh Beattie said: “As a local artist and a Reservist, this painting has been an invigorating challenge. I had to find the balance between artistic composition and military convention, while it was very satisfying to be able to adjust the view to bring in a hint of Colchester Castle.
“I am so thrilled to have a painting hung in the Town Hall for generations to come.”
The Gun Salute painting will be on display at the Minories from Thursday, 15 February to Sunday, 14 April. The gallery is open Thursdays to Sundays, 10am to 4pm, and entry is free. The painting will be displayed in one of the upstairs galleries, which is accessed by stairs only.
Following its residency at The Minories, the painting will go on permanent display in Colchester Town Hall, ensuring that future generations can appreciate this historic event.
Page last reviewed: 7 February 2024