AN ACCOUNTANCY firm has commissioned a series of client portraits as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Armstrong Watson, based in Northallerton, asked award-winning artist Helen Perkins to complete ten portraits.

The “Face Forward” project was presented at an event at Romanby Golf Club, which was attended by 80 guests, including portrait sitters Judy Bell, founder of 30-year-old award-winning artisan cheese producer, Shepherd’s Purse of Thirsk, and Beryl Gatenby, director of fit-out and construction specialists Simpson (York) Ltd.

Beryl Gatenby said: “It was a wonderful experience, and one I shall always remember. I feel very privileged to have been asked by Armstrong Watson to consider the portraiture, delighted to have been in the company of Helen and witnessed at first hand her artistic flair and talents, and so thrilled I said ‘yes’.”

Paul Dickson, Armstrong Watson chief executive, said the company’s achievements were a result of working with generations of clients with successful businesses.

He said: “We have helped those clients become successful, so we thought let’s tell their story, which, in turn, also tells a story about ‘why Armstrong Watson?’”

The Northallerton event was one of nine locations on the 150th portrait tour, encompassing the firm’s 16 office regions. It showcases the portraits, the history of the firm and celebrates the longevity of family business.

Commenting on the event, Peter Molyneux, lead partner Northallerton, said: “Judy Bell told the wonderful story of how her idea for Shepherd’s Purse Cheese was initially conceived, and the successful growth and development of their award-winning family-run business.

“It was also great to share the evening with Beryl Gatenby who spoke with passion and enthusiasm for her York based family business, and to hear how both valued the advice and support given by Armstrong Watson.”