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The Origins of

In the late sixties, a group of aspiring artists, who met at a local evening class ran by David Selby, a divisional adult education officer for S. E. Derbyshire, were told that the tutor of the class was leaving to take up another position. During a conversation over the closure and demolition of the venue at the last class, Wilf Sugars, an imposing builder, and Tom Thom were advised by David Selby to open up their own art club. A meeting was arranged for the following week at Wilsthorpe School but it was badly attended. However the idea was good and it was advertised in the local papers of the Library.

A second meeting was held on Friday 17th October 1969, of which 60 people attended and David Selby chaired. A committee was formed, including a Chair Person, Treasurer and Secretary. Eventually Wilf Sugars and Tom Thom were co-opted to the committee, Tom served as Membership Secretary and Wilf as Chairman. Later Tom Thom was voted as Treasurer and served in this position for three years.

Sadly Wilf Sugars died and to commiserate the Wilf Sugars Rose Bowl came about. This was then used as a trophy prize, which still today is given to the winner of a competition held every year at the Town Hall. Tom was then voted as Chairman and later became President, of which he has been for 40 years.

Tom Thom sponsored a Trophy for still life which is also given out yearly at the September Art of the Midlands Exhibition and Competition.

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