OVER 200 watercolours dating back more than half a century have been uncovered following the death of a 97-year-old artist.
Mary Fishwick, who spent her entire life in the same house in Albert Street, Accrington, spent all of her free time painting and sketching.
Paul Gilbert, 78, and his wife Doris, 71, of Warmden Avenue, Baxenden, befriended Mary through Woodnook Baptist Church over 40 years ago and have now taken stock of all her paintings following her death in June.
Paul said: "We knew she had some but were surprised to find quite so many.
"Mary was a member of the New Jerusalem Church, Accrington, and also attended our church.
"She was such a talented artist and whenever we went out for a walk she would always bring her sketch book.
"She was intelligent and friendly, and told amazing stories of her life.
"Despite being asked by an art teacher to become a full-time artist, she always shied away from publicity.
"But we feel her paintings are of historical interest and would be enjoyed by local people."
Mary, who survived her two younger sisters, Harriet and Gladys, never married or had children.
After leaving Woodnook School, she trained as a bookbinder and worked in Clayton-le-Moors and Burnley.
She became a firewatcher during World War Two, guarding Accrington's cotton factories.
Paul said: "Mary led a simple life and until 1998 her only luxury was a cold water tap and a toilet in the back yard.
"She walked extensively and used to enjoy chopping logs for her fire and making traditional lamb stew."
Doris added: "She was an amazing lady and we have got so many of her pictures.
"She did once display some of her paintings in an amateur exhibition in Townley Hall, Burnley, but we hope that local galleries might now be interested in showing some of her work."
The couple have approached Accrington's Haworth Art Gallery, which Mary depicted in some of her paintings, to see if it would be interested.
A number of the paintings will be on display and for sale at Woodnook Baptist Church's coffee morning on Saturday 2 September between 10am and noon, with proceeds going towards church funds.