Friends reunited at Storey exhibition

Artist Mark Nelson, Brian Ashton, Kevin Roberts and Bobby Elliott at the opening of Mark's exhibition.

Artist Mark Nelson, Brian Ashton, Kevin Roberts and Bobby Elliott at the opening of Mark's exhibition.

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Two schoolfriends who went on to great things were reunited at the opening of an art exhibition.

Kevin Roberts and Mark Nelson both went to Lancaster Royal Grammar School. Today, Kevin is the CEO Worldwide of Saatchi and Saatchi while Mark is head coach of the Lancashire and Fylde rugby squads.

Mark is also a renowned urban landscape artist, and his friend Kevin came home to Lancaster especially to open Mark’s display of work at the Storey Gallery.

A Northern View includes three new paintings – two of Lancaster and one of Morecambe.

Also at the opening was Brian Ashton, former England Rugby World Cup coach and Bobby Elliot, the drummer with The Hollies.

Mark also donated a painting to be auctioned in aid of the Lune Scholarship, which gives financial help to local boys at the Grammar School.

“I have always had a strong affinity with the Lancaster area,” said Mark.

“I am delighted that Kevin took time out from his busy schedule, because he’s also a renowned and knowledgeable rugby man.”

Mark also played rugby and is the Vale of Lune’s record try scorer.

He led Fylde to promotion to National League One and led Lancashire to five championships at Twickenham.

His artistic skills were recently recognised by leading chef Paul Heathcote who commissioned Mark to provide two paintings for his Longridge restaurant.

Versatile Mark also co-wrote a track for a Hollies album and designed the record sleeve.