THE artwork of a “true gentleman” who started drawing during the Second World War is going on display at a residential home.

Alan Pursey, 89, has always dreamed of having his sketches of places, including Harwich, Ramsey and Colchester, published.

Throughout his life Alan, who lives in Dovercourt, travelled about in a camper van with his wife June and took his own photographs, and then made sketches of his favourite ones.

But Alan sadly lost his wife and best friend of 64 years recently, and wanted someone to help him get through his grief.

So Suzanne Howe, from United in Kind, and Kirsti Ayling, from Friends and Neighbours Essex, met Alan at the Community Voluntary Hub, in Dovercourt, as they knew he had shown his friends at the bereavement cafe his drawings from over the years.

Kirsti said: “Suzanne and I really wanted to help him immediately and give him a much needed lift.

“After viewing all of Alan’s artwork I was quite overwhelmed as I felt it was so sad it was just sitting in his house and he felt nobody was really interested.

“I knew it had to be displayed and shown to all and seeing how despondent he was I knew it needed be as soon as possible, so within the hour I started organising an exhibition to display his work.”

Rosebank Park, in Main Road, Dovercourt, offered to host the exhibition after seeing Alan’s work and hearing his story from Kirsti.

Kirsti added: “Within a day of meeting Alan, his artwork had been located and an exhibition has been set up to be hosted at Rosebank residential home on November 14.

“I called him to tell him and he was literally over the moon.

“He was so happy it brought tears to my eyes.”

Before Alan retired, he was in the air force and then became a police officer.

Kirsti said: “This is what kindness can do, he called me afterwards to thank us both once again and to say that it had made his day and made him feel like being here wasn’t as bad as he thought.

“This is so important for Alan, he is absolutely devastated at the loss of his wife and it just goes to show how kindness it can change someone’s outlook on life and gives smiles all round.

“This beautiful story shows what working together can do and we have a very happy thankful Alan.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be in the company of a true gentleman.”

The exhibition is running between 2.30pm and 5pm on the day.

He then hopes to have his book of drawings published.