Serena Silcock-Prince has revealed the moving moment she came face to face with a world famous painting by artist LS Lowry hanging in the UK Prime Minister’s home – with her family’s name on the picture.
The Operations Manager for Silcock Leisure Group was among inspirational business women from across the UK invited to 10 Downing Street in London for the 2023 MPHERoes celebration.
The prestigious annual event, supported by Savvitas Global and NatWest, aims to salute the nation’s female role models who make a real difference in their communities.
While at 10 Downing Street, Serena saw the iconic painting that Laurence Stephen Lowry created in 1946 – ‘Lancashire Fair: Good Friday, Daisy Nook’.
The artwork shows huge crowds of people enjoying a day out at the fair at Daisy Nook in Ashton-under-Lyne near Manchester.
Immortalised in the painting are a number of fairground rides being operated by the Silcock family.
One of the rides in the picture bears the words: ‘Silcock Bros’ Thriller’.
The rides were operated by Serena’s grandfather, Herbert Silcock Sr, who was offered the chance by Lowry to buy the iconic painting, but turned it down.
Today it hangs proudly inside Britain’s most famous address.
Serena Silcock-Prince said: “It was amazing to see the painting on display so prominently inside 10 Downing Street!
“I walked up the famous long, winding staircase, with photos of all the UK Prime Ministers hanging on the yellow walls, and when I came to the top of the staircase, there it was – the Lowry.
“Seeing a painting in 10 Downing Street with my family’s name on, and knowing the story behind it, was really emotional. It was a very proud moment.
“I have seen the scene before, because we have prints of it on our walls at Silcock’s Funland in Southport.
“I never thought I would get the opportunity to come face to face with the original. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it.
“The painting is huge. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be. It’s a really impressive piece of art.
“There is lots of art at 10 Downing Street. I enjoyed having a look around.
“As well as the LS Lowry painting, I saw a Turner, some Old Masters, portraits of famous figures, and lots of modern art too, including work by Tracey Emin. It’s a very diverse collection.
“I studied Art History at KGV College in Southport so I was fascinated to see it all.”
The Daisy Nook painting could have been hanging on the Silcock family wall – but it wasn’t meant to be.
Serena Silcock-Prince said: “LS Lowry tried to sell the painting to my Grandad for £50 after he’d finished it, but Grandad wasn’t impressed with it.
“He didn’t like all the stick men and how it looked! It wasn’t to his taste.
“That story has been told many times within our family over the years.
“Now the painting is hanging on the wall at 10 Downing Street and is worth an estimated £1.4 million.
“But it’s fantastic to see the painting with the Silcock name taking such a pride of place in the most famous home in the country, where it will have been seen by people and heads of state from around the world.
“It is a really important part of our family’s heritage.
“To see a painting with our family’s name on it was a real moment I will never forget. It was very emotional seeing it .
“When I was at the reception at 10 Downing Street, Southport MP Damien Moore was telling people about the history of the painting, and the history of my family.
“It was a real ice breaker! People were fascinated.
“It was absolutely unbelievable to see the original up close. It’s a fantastic work of art.”
Serena Silcock-Prince is the Operations Manager for Silcock Leisure Group, which employs around 80 employees at Silcock’s Funland, Silcock’s Carousel and Silcock’s Pier Family Restaurant.
The family firm has played a huge role in Southport’s tourism offer for decades, attracting generations of families to the seaside resort and ensuring they leave with happy memories.
In September last year, Silcock’s Carousel was awarded the title of the fourth best seaside attraction in Britain.
The beautiful Victorian era attraction was a popular choice with members of the public voting in the first ever Bucket and Spade List 2023, organised by the The Seaside Heritage Network.
The attraction was a finalist in the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards last year.
Silcock Leisure Group is also a huge supporter of community events.
The business sponsored the Southport Santa Sprint for Queenscourt Hospice for the 14th year in a row in December 2023; was a sponsor for the 2023 Ainsdale Show; and played a part in the success of Southport’s first ever Jail and Bail event which raised over £25,000 for Queenscourt Hospice.
Silcock Leisure Group also supported Southport Royal British Legion as it organised the royal visit by Princess Anne to commemorate the Centenary of Southport War Memorial.