AN OSWESTRY art group has celebrated 40 years of existence.

Oswestry and District Society of Artists became active in 1979 under chairman Dick Hughes after a group of enthusiastic painters decided to get together and set up their programme, many of whom are still members to this day.

Richard Haslam, who took over as the first treasurer, is one of those still an active member, alongside society president Christine Brown.

The anniversary was celebrated on Wednesday, May 15 with a lunch at Sweeny Hall, where members listened to a speech from renown artist Ian Fennelly.

In the past Ian has given workshops for the society, highlighting his unique style of line and wash work.

The society has continued over the years to promote art with workshops, painting together sessions, talks and gallery visits. The highlight of the year is the society's exhibition, held the Memorial Hall in Oswestry every July.

"This year we are delighted to be celebrating 40 successful years," said society chairman Christine Taylor.

"We have lots of new members and our society is thriving after so many years."