An artist who painted part of a town hit by flooding has finally put the finishing touches to his work 44 years later.

David Housden decided to take photographs along the river bank in Wisbech town centre, which at the time was about to be flooded.

“I used to live on the South Brink overlooking the Nene,” said David.

“I happened to take pictures along the river, thinking that it was looking vulnerable as the bank was muddy.”

David managed to capture photographs of the riverside between the Thomas Clarkson Memorial and Freedom Bridge just before the floods piled through the town in 1978.

It was these images that the former Queens Girls School teacher used as the basis for his painting, named ‘Before the Flood’, which stretches 16-feet in length.

“The flood hit and at least six warehouses had to be destroyed and put flood defences up,” David said.

“I caught the scene before the flood as soon after that, everything changed.

“I realised the painting was so long, I had to cut it into four sections to make it plausible.”

To create the artwork, David used texture paste and acrylic paint to depict the river and colour of the buildings that stood.

It is a painting that David began in his spare time while an art teacher at the Queens Girls School during a 32-year career.

He was then able to spend more time working on his masterpiece after retiring in 2006.

“I wanted to do a panoramic sweep from the Clarkson Memorial to Freedom Bridge,” said David.

“I think it’s important to show individual panels to appreciate more of the painting.”

David, who has produced other paintings on different topics such as Covid-19, wants to exhibit his latest work in Wisbech.

And he hopes his efforts will resonate more so with the local community.

“I would love to get it exhibited somewhere as I am sure it will be of considerable interest to local people who will remember Wisbech as it was,” David added.

“I produce art because it makes me feel a sense of achievement, but when artists do something, it’s done not for themselves, but to share with people.”