Harold F Riley Esq. DL Dlit FRCS (Hon) DFA ATC
Harold was born in Salford in 1934 and attended Salford Grammar School and sold his first painting to the City Art Gallery when he was 11. In 1951 he won a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London. After a one year postgraduate course at the Slade he won a travel scholarship to Italy, followed by a British Council Scholarship to study in Spain and went on to study in Florence and Spain before returning to Salford, where he has lived ever since.
Harold has been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Salford, Manchester, London and Florence and completed his National Service in 1957.
In 1960 Harold returned to Salford, where he now lives and works. He believed his main work was to document the city and his life-cycle in Salford in paintings, drawings and photographs. His deep affection for his home town cemented a friendship with L S Lowry which began when Harold was a student; together they worked on a project to record the area and its people, a project which Harold continued until the end of the twentieth century.
Harold's commissioned painted portraits include His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; His Royal Highness Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia; His Holiness Pope Paul; Elliot Richardson, American Ambassador; Sir John Barbirolli; United States Presidents John Kennedy and Gerald Ford and Nelson Mandela. Harold's work is held in both public and private international collections.
Thanks to Salford City Council, an archive and studio have been created for him in a conservation area around the old Fire Station. Here Harold will continue to work and here his drawings, paintings and photographs of the city will be housed, as well as his extensive collection of sports studies.
Harold is married to Ashraf and they have two daughters and three grandchildren.
He became a Deputy Lieutenant in 1984.