SWINDON artist Ken White has fond memories of studying at Swindon School of Art in the early 1960s with future Supertramp star Rick Davies.

The painter, who is known for his large-scale murals, said his time at the Swindon College-based art school was a godsend.

Ken, now 74, had spent four years working in the GWR’s railway works – alongside his dad, uncle, brother and grandfather.

He found a relief in evening art classes at the college. And his former RAF flight sergeant dad wasn’t pleased when, aged 19, he left the works to study full time at college.

“It was great after the railways,” he said. “I was pushed into doing graphics, but I used to paint up in the top floor art room without them knowing.”

For a few months when he first arrived, he was taught in the Victorian college building – before the art school was moved to the 1960s extension, which has since been torn down to make way for the supermarket and cinema.

At college he was friends with future Supertramp keyboardist Rick Davies. The pair would escape the art room to play records at full volume in Rick’s town centre flat.

Ken also met his wife, Jane, at the art school. “I used to see her all the time, but I never spoke to her until one party.”

The artist – who designed the Scarlet Lady emblem that adorns Virgin Atlantic’s planes – later returned to the college as a teacher.