Birthday girl Hazel, 85, has art show party

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Most people might celebrate their 85th birthday with a quiet family get-together – but not former Castleford schoolteacher Hazel Parks.

Instead, Mrs Parks, of Townville, is staging an art exhibition, displaying work she has created over decades of painting, drawing and crafting.

It is entitled ‘Hats and Heads, Bikes and Boats’, in recognition of her favourite subjects, and is being staged in the Island Gallery at Queen’s Mill, Aire Street, Castleford.

Mrs Parks said: “I like to ‘sort things out’, to break objects down into their basic shapes and colours, which is something you can do with absolutely anything.”

Although she has painted all her life, Mrs Parks only got into her stride as an artist after retiring from passing on her love of art to generations of Castleford primary school pupils.

She marked her 80th birthday by completing a two-year art and design course at Wakefield College.

‘Hats and Heads, Bikes and Boats’ is open Thursdays to Saturdays, from noon to 3pm, during February. Admission is free.