Harold Riley is a notable Salford artist, famous not only for documenting Salford in paintings, drawings and photographs, but also for his numerous commissioned portraits and for his sporting paintings (particularly golf and football). His deep affection for his home town cemented a friendship with L S Lowry which began when Riley was a student. Together they worked on a project to record the area and its people, a project which Riley continued until the end of the twentieth century.
Riley's portrait subjects include Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, Pope John XIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, American Ambassador Elliot Richardson, United States Presidents John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, as well as Nelson Mandela.
Thanks to Salford City Council, an archive and studio have been created in a conservation area around the old fire station on the Crescent in Salford. Riley's drawings, paintings and photographs of the city will be housed here as well as his extensive collection of sports studies. A Charitable Trust has been set up called the Riley Educational Foundation, to look after his life's work.