William Turner was born in Chorlton-in-Medlock, Manchester in 1920. He was educated at the local school in Gorton and then attended the Derby School of Art part-time whilst serving in the Royal Ordnance Corps between 1940 and 1946. After the war he worked in Cheetham Hill hand-colouring photographs and teaching life drawing and painting at an adult education college and Hulme Hall School. Despite limited training his paintings are characterised by energy and vitality. He painted mainly from memory, having an unwillingness to retain excessive topographical detail.
In 1955, Turner moved from Salford to Cheadle Hulme and produced many paintings of Stockport thereafter. The undulating hills and viaduct of this area gave further interest to the rich industrial architecture which Turner loved to paint. In the late 1970's, Turner became a member of the Manchester Academy and takes his position as one of the greatest Northern Industrial artists of the twentieth century.
William Ralph Turner sadly passed away in 2013.