Lewis Ward was born in 1904. He was a gardener and lived in a cottage in the Lodge Lane area, not far from Rivelin Corn Mill. He painted in his spare time, mostly on the kitchen table. He may not have been part of the artists’ ‘colony’ as such, but it seems likely that he would have known the artists at Rivelin Corn Mill as he lived nearby.
The painting shows the ford across the river in front of the corn mill buildings. The ground was clearly at a lower level than today. The Rails Road car park was built here – presumably on top of rubble from the demolished houses as the car park is at the same level as the top of the dam.