Stunning artwork marks 25th anniversary of accountancy firm

November 16, 2020

A ONE-off piece of artwork which captures the most iconic buildings and locations in an accountancy firm's catchment area has been created to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Paul Hornby, the managing director of Cumbria-based JF Hornby & Co commissioned the piece as the company marked a quarter of a century in business.

Local artist Amy Whelan was set the task of capturing the essence of Barrow and Ulverston - two towns which are at the heart of the Hornby business community

The stunning result was unveiled this week. Paul said: “We considered a number of ways to celebrate our 25th anniversary, but settled on the specially commissioned piece of art because we wanted something which would be a showpiece and also become a legacy for the future.

“I really am very happy with the result. Amy has captured the essence of both Barrow and Ulverston perfectly. Both towns are really important to the team here at JF Hornby, so to reflect their most popular landmarks and buildings in this one-off piece of art was very important to me.

“We have not been able to unveil it in the way we had originally hoped, but the piece is now up and will greet members of our team, along with our clients, when it is safe to return to the office.”

The picture includes landmarks from Ulverston to the left, with the iconic JF Hornby tower building in the centre and famous Barrow buildings and sights to the right.

Among them is the famous Sir John Barrow Monument, Coronation Hall, Birkrigg Stone Circle, Barrow AFC’s Holker Street Stadium, Barrow Town Hall and the Devonshire Dock Hall. Amy Whelan, a full time illustrator living and working in Ulverston, developed a love for drawing whilst studying Illustration at Loughborough University.

Her work is characterised by bright and colourful designs and can also be found on her range of greetings cards.

She said: “This was a great commission because Paul gave me so much freedom when it came to the brief. He was clear that he wanted the piece I produced to be a celebration of everything which is great about the Furness Area with a focus on Ulverston - the home of JF Hornby - and Barrow, to which the company has real links. It was a very enjoyable project and I’m so pleased that Paul is happy with the result.”

JF Hornby was established by John Hornby in 1994 with two members of staff based out of the Daltongate Business Centre.

The business steadily grew and in 2000, having spent time in the company during his college and university days, John’s son Paul, joined the business.

Growth accelerated with the father and son team at the helm, through the acquisition of fee bases from other accountancy firms - GR Page and Co in 2002 and AB Mercer in 2015 - and as word of mouth spread.

Today JF Hornby and Co services in the region of 2,000 clients and has a staff base of 50. It has expanded from its original office, and while still based on the Daltongate Business Park in Ulverston, now occupies a much larger area.

The business hit a real high note in 2015 when it won the prestigious UK Accountants of the Year award - and followed that success by again securing the award in 2016.

“We do things differently,” said Paul. “We try to be as far removed from the traditional image of accountants as possible. Our staff are people - and we do business with people. “The human touch, the local nature of our business and the fact we are always on hand to chat, advise and hopefully inspire, I think sets us apart from other accountancy firms. “A lot has happened in 25 years - and we’re excited about the future.”

The piece was commissioned in 2019 which was the company’s 25th anniversary year but installation and unveiling was delayed by the Covid pandemic.

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