Artist dreams of honour for fell runner Joss

Artists honour: Joss Naylor (left) with Ray Nixon (right) with the image Ray dreamt up to honour Joss.

Artists honour: Joss Naylor (left) with Ray Nixon (right) with the image Ray dreamt up to honour Joss.

Fell-running legend Joss Naylor has been presented with a painting by Frizington artist Ray Nixon – a painting Ray had a dream about.

Ray, who is a member of Gosforth & District Art Society, dreamt one night about painting on the fells and meeting Joss.

He didn’t know much about Joss but, on waking, decided he would paint a scene of Joss on the fells.

Ray said: “I looked him up on the internet and was amazed at everything he had achieved.”

Having completed the picture he contacted Joss and asked to present it to him at Gosforth Art Society’s annual exhibition at Gosforth Village Hall on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Joss and his wife Mary duly turned up and the picture was presented to him by Society chairman Trevor Partridge.

Trevor reeled off Joss’s considerable achievements adding: “He is a very modest man – and an incredibly generous one. He received his MBE for services to sport and to charity – he is a patron of the Brathay Trust.”

Joss himself was delighted with the painting and said: “It’s a magical painting. We will get hours of pleasure looking at that.”

And of course he immediately identified the fell he was pictured on – Buckbarrow – and then reeled off then 10 or 11 fells in the background!

At the age of 80, Joss still goes fell running and revealed he had been out on the fells that morning. He said: “I still do it because I enjoy it.

The countryside is so beautiful. This morning I saw a sheep under a crag with Scafell in the background and it was just beautiful.”

The exhibition included dozens of paintings by artists and friends of the Society. There were also demonstrations of painting for those who wanted to learn more about how to paint.


JOSS FACT BOX:

  • At age of 50 completed the Wainwrights in seven days
  • At age of 60 ran 60 Lakeland tops in 36 hours
  • At age of 70 ran 70 fell tops in under 21 hours
  • At age of 80 ran from Caldbeck to Wasdale
  • Awarded the MBE for services to sport and charity (Brathay Trust)
  • He’s still running today!