WHEN artist Graham Harrison had a painting published the 2018 Dr Kershaw's Hospice calendar he had no idea it would lead him to a date with destiny.

At the launch of Dr Kershaw's 2019 edition, Graham, of Thornham Lane, Royton, reveal his amazing, heart-warming story which accidentally helped him turn the clock back 30 years.

It turned out one of the people who received last year's calendar, which includes Graham's painting of Tandle Hills and Dogford Road, was old pal Granville Cheetham.

Graham and Granville went to school together at Springhead and Saddleworth and Graham was best man at Granville's wedding.

But the pair lost touch and have led separate lives for decades - until the Granville, aged 67 and now living in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, spotted Graham's painting.

Previous attempts to track down his best chum had proved fruitless but with this new promising lead Granville contacted the hospice to ask for their help.

"My family have been sending me the calendar for over 15 years and I enjoyed the views of Oldham that David Ford portrayed.

"Then, after David passed away and local artists were used in tribute to him, I saw the name Graham Harrison.

"I had tried a couple of times to track Graham down but there are several people by that name in the Oldham area and each time I reached a dead end.

"So I called the hospice and asked the fundraising team if they would put the two of us in touch.

"It was just fantastic when Graham turned out to be my old friend. We met up - the two of us are both married to a Christine - and the four of us met up at a restaurant in Royton.

Since then the quartet have rekindled their friendship and all four of them were more than happy to join other artists featured in the launch of the 2019 calendar.

They included Robert Lees, who painted the hospice building for the front cover.

The artwork throughout the year is: January – Tandle Hills by Graham Harrison; February – Rugby at Watersheddings, by Kevin Haynes; March – Dogford Road, by Graham Harrison; April – Daisy Nook Fair, by Cliff Murphy; May – Werneth Allotments, by Enid Sutcliffe; June – Grains Road, by Robert Lees; July – Huddersfield Road, by Richard Darlington; August – Saddleworth Museum, by Laurence Worrall; September – Alexandra Park boating lake, by Anne Firby; October – Mills of Waterhead, by Kevin Haynes; November – War Memorial, by Laurence Worrall; December – winter scene by Richard Darlington.

Vernon Cressey, chairman of the board at Dr Kershaw's, praised the artists for their commitment and their fantastic illustrations that bring so much pleasure to thousands each year.

Graham said: "Myself and the other artists are honoured to appear in the hospice calendar and it was great to get together to launch this year's version."

Granville added: "I love seeing images of Oldham and would encourage local people who have friends and family who no longer live here to send them a calendar as it provides a constant reminder of home."

The hospice calendar is priced £3.75 and available from the hospice in Turf Lane, Royton, hospice shops around the borough and various community outlets.