ART and politics merged in the winning work of Northwich Art Trail, which runs until Saturday, July 26.

On the day that Michael Gove lost his post as Education Secretary, it was announced that his portrait won first prize in the trail, organised by Visual Arts Cheshire (VAC).

The collage, entitled ‘Another Leftie Teacher Moaning Away’, is by Middlewich artist Ian Hill-Smith and is on display in Boots Opticians window.

Ian’s picture was voted Best in Show by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s arts officer Emma Knight when she walked the trail with VAC members.

The two runners-up were Fiona Plaisted, whose work 'Cat with Pots' is in Phase 1 hairdressers, and Stephanie Estall Knight, whose work 'Lost' is in the O2 Phone Shop.

The top three win prizes donated by Northwich Art Shop.

A further three exhibits were given a special and equal commendation by Emma.

They were Jimmy March’s ‘Hazel Pear’, Beth Barlow’s 'Chester to Delamere' and Patricia Kelsall’s 'Albert Dock'.

There are 50 shops displaying art work in Northwich from Jack Gee Cycles, in Witton Street, to Reed Rains, in the Bull Ring.

VAC is currently looking for a vacant town centre property in which they can reopen the VAC art gallery.

Anyone who can help should email

For more information about Ian Hill-Smith visit facebook/idillustrator