Last week visitors to the busy café have been joined by illustrious literary figures as artist Deborah Campbell has transformed a formerly pink pillar into a gallery of framed portraits of authors including Jane Austin, Beatrix Potter, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and John Buchan.

Deborah was joined for the project by 11-year-old Anna Bonnington whose portrait of Jacqueline Wilson is now one of the highlights of the very unusual pillar gallery.

Deborah said: “I’ve been looking forward to tackling this job for a few months. Preparing and painting the individual portraits has been a joy but transforming the pillar – which was VERY pink - was a bit more of a challenge.

“It has been great being able to talk about the developing work with the café customers, everyone has been interested and many have suggested characters they would like to see. Anna has made a great contribution and I think her portrait of Jacqueline Wilson may well be my favourite.” The new pillar is the latest addition to the new look Eastgate which has also, over the last month, been cleaned and largely redecorated by an enthusiastic team of volunteers.