A COLLECTION of artwork painted by a shipyard work diagnosed with terminal cancer is proving hugely popular - with half of the signed prints already sold.

Enquiries have been made from all over the world into purchasing paintings by Kevin Cookmead, from Walney, who launched the artwork collection earlier this month.

The 49-year-old, who has worked at BAE Systems for the past six years, was told in February that he had terminal cancer despite undergoing a major operation and chemotherapy.

Mr Cookmead decided to use his skills as a talented artist to benefit others - and has launched a collection of paintings to commemorate life at the shipyard which are being sold to raise money for St Mary’s Hospice.

A spokesman for St Mary's Hospice revealed that sales have gone 'really well' and the hospice has taken enquiries from all over the world into the collection.

More than half of the signed set of three prints have been sold already, raising much-needed cash for the Ulverston-based hospice.

A spokesman for St Mary's Hospice said: "It is fantastic to see that Kevin's work is being recognised.

"He really is exceptionally talented, and we're proud that he has done these paintings to raise money for us."

Mr Cookmead said he needed to 'keep some focus and purpose' after his terminal diagnosis in February, which led to him painting various pieces associated with the shipyard.

He said: “One in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives. You never think it will be you, I’m no different. Following a major operation and chemotherapy, in February I was told there were no medical or clinical routes left and I was terminal.

“I needed to keep some focus and purpose, so I painted the RNLB Herbert Leigh with a hope it could go on permanent display in the Dock Museum. I got talking to some colleagues who reminded me that it was the yard’s 150th birthday this year, we thought it might be nice to do a painting for the yard to commemorate.

"The thought of being able to tie work in with my hobby to raise money for the hospice really excited me.”

Working with the team at BAE Systems, Mr Cookmead's idea developed and eventually grew into a set of three painting of the original HMS Dreadnought, the HMS Trenchant and HMS Astute.

The three paintings have been combined to create 50 specially designed limited edition print sets, which Mr Cookmead has signed, and which have been signed by the yard’s managing director, Steve Timms.

The limited edition comprises 150 prints in total (50 sets of three), which mirrors the 150th anniversary of the yard.

The artwork collection is available in the web-shop of the St Mary’s Hospice website hbps://www.stmaryshospice.org.uk/product-category/exclusive-prints.

A further 300 prints (100 if each painting) are available, unsigned, at a more accessible price.