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'Empress of Russia' Ablaze in Buccleuch Dock, Barrow, in the Early Hours of Saturday 8 September 1945

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Dock Museum

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This painting depicts a ship fire – rare and shocking in Barrow. This painting was commissioned for the 'Muck and Brass' touring exhibition about Ward's shipbreaking in the north-west of England. Local artist Bill Bell worked at Vickers all his life but painting was his first love throughout his whole adult life. He worked mostly in oils, though occasionally in pastel and watercolour.

The Dock Museum





oil on canvas


H 75 x W 121 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1999

Work type



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The Dock Museum

North Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 2PW England

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