TWO local artists, Jill Barneby and Sarah Smith are the first to exhibit in the newly refurbished Old Mayor's Parlour in Church Street.

"We did have to persuade the planning people to do it," Jill Barneby reveals. "We've been working on it for years, and at the beginning of last year we started on this concept and at the end of the year, the plans were approved.

"Thne we set about doing it up and it was a complete nightmare - lots of necessary remedial work has had to be addressed, including insulating the space. But we now have a lovely new lighting system, a state-of-the-art gallery hanging system and the ceiling has been restored," says Jill. "It was finally finished the night before h.Art kicked off, and we're rather pleased with it all."

Jill adds that she had originally been going to take the whole space for a solo exhibition, but then asked Sarah Smith, who uses The Print Shed, owned by Jill in Madley, if she'd join her. "It's worked out really well - our work is very different but works well together. Sarah’s exuberant lino cut pictures of animals and birds sit easily with my more quirky take on life."

One other issue facing the gallery was access, as it is on the first floor. "But we've come to an arrangement with Stephen Bourke who took on Gallery 25. Having access to The Old Mayor's Parlour through Gallery 25 makes a visit more of an experience, with more to see and Stephen has also agreed to handle bookings for the gallery.

The current exhibition runs until Saturday, November 8, 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

For booking enquiries and more information please email