A FORMER lecturer who used the watercolour materials he was given as a retirement present to paint a series of images of his old workplace has donated the works to the college.

Albert Toal worked at New College Durham from 1980 until 2000, rising to become head of the education and administration department.

Knowing he enjoyed painting as a hobby, his former colleagues presented him with a parting gift of watercolour paints and oils.

Loading article content

Mr Toal, of Newton Hall, Durham, returned to his easel after giving up work and today (Monday, January 20) donated 18 watercolour images of New College’s Durham former premises, both in Framwellgate Moor and Neville’s Cross, to the college.

Some of the artworks are to be displayed around the college.

Mr Toal, now 78, said: “I always thought Neville’s Cross were very fine buildings and much suited to watercolour studies.

“I had a very interesting and rewarding job here.”

College principal John Widdowson, who formally accepted the works, said: “We want to get a record of the old buildings and we’re collecting memorabilia about the college.

“It’s very good to get these paintings. It’s unusual for educational buildings to be painted.”

Meanwhile, the college is appealing for any surviving photographs of its so-called “lost principal”.

Theodore Daniel Harris Baber was the first principal of the then Durham Technical College, from 1957 to 1961. However, no photographs of him have been found.

Anyone who can help is asked to call New College Durham on 0191-375-4040.