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George features in new ‘High Street Heroes’ artwork by Sir Peter Blake

George featured in UK Top 40

Q Guild butcher George Payne is one of 40 people from small businesses across the nation to feature in a new artwork by the renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake – the man behind the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band artwork.

George, who has run his shop in Brunton Park, Gosforth, since 1987 and is a foundermember of the Q Guild, was selected to feature in the artwork as part of an initiative known as Small Business Saturday, staged on December 6. The work, dubbed High Street Heroes, was commissioned by American Express. Sir Peter, who worked at a butcher in his youth, said: “Small shops and the Great British Shopkeeper have been at the forefront of British culture for hundreds of years now.

“The notion of a ‘Nation of Shopkeepers’ is embedded in our folklore and the wonderful variety of today’s independent shops as well as the character that small businesses bring to a local area make them an ideal subject matter for modern pop art.“

Having worked at a local butcher at the age of 13 I have also experienced the dedication and hard work that goes into running a small shop. It is for all these reasons that I am thrilled to be lending my support to a campaign that champions small businesses.” George said: “Being a family butcher running my own shop since 1987 means I know the locals and have a good rapport with them. They trust me to provide local quality meat and offer cooking advice. I feel really honoured that Sir Peter Blake chose me to be part of his art – it’s fabulous publicity.”

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