In about 2006 and 2007 I painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite of the Leopard Hotel. It has appeared on Britain’s most Haunted on TV and until a couple of years ago was still open. Now no one seems to know what is happening with it. I’m sure it still needs a lot of work doing on it. No doubt my murals will get painted over if it is refurbished. It’s sad, because for a few years the place thrived. But there was also bad luck there. I wish things coukd be better for it. X
Mural of flowers
Bright and beautiful
Who was the artist
Who loved colour
Have to their community
I’m glad to see it
As I walk past.
Based on the Florence colliery this is a mural I painted on panels several years ago. It’s emulsion on marine ply and it was covered in perspex to protect it from the dirt and fumes from the road. I think it’s been relocated from here but I’m not sure whether it’s now inside the building. I haven’t been there for a few years. One day I will go and have a look.
Its aa little thing, but my painting of the Burslem Riot is on the back of a friends book. She’s in the newspaper today and you can clearly see my image on the back of her book. The problem is the article is about the local dialect which she writes about, not about my painting. So I guess I can’t complain. But my images do crop up and I don’t get recognition. I should have put something up where they are on display (in the now closed Leopard Hotel in Burslem), but I didn’t think about it, and then I didn’t organise it, and now it’s all locked up. Thinking if putting a letter through the front door infroducing myself as the artist who painted them. I hope they don’t get ripped out!
Molly Leigh was said to be the Burslem witch. She lived in a small cottage, a photo of which I based this picture on. There are no photos of her so I tried to find a painting of an elderly woman from about that time and chose a picture of a French peasant by Theodore Gericault as an inspiration. The plants in the background are meant to be foxgloves and different herbs in a garden I imagined to be full of things you could use for remedies. I didn’t find much out about her life, except she is meant to be buried in a local church yard with the grave orientated East West, instead of the normal North South way. We went for a walk and ended up in the graveyard, only to get told off by someone from the church who kept getting people messing about round Mollys grave. When we explained we were on a photo walk of Burslem and we didn’t want to do any strange rituals he was OK. The painting is set on a night of the full moon and I tried to make the sky atmospheric and spooky. I’m sorry people won’t be able to see my murals in the Leopard anymore. No doubt they will be painted over or removed.
This the mural I painted at the Leopard of Clarice Cliffs Umbrella design. It is one of several murals I did. They were painted directly onto the walls, but as the original room had several large squares and oblong of flock wallpaper surrounded by wooden framing, the owners stripped the flock paper and covered the patches with lining paper. I then painted on that. For some reason people think the pictures are painted on canvas. They will get a shock if they try and take them down. They would have to remove a layer of plaster probably too…!
I am sad to hear the leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent has closed its doors and is being auctioned off.
It appeared on shows like Britain’s most Haunted TV show. It was very spooky. I was pleased to paint murals there over ten years ago and we were part of a zombie film that was partly filmed in there… Sad day
This popped up on my Facebook memories today, it’s a mural I painted on lining paper on the wall in the Arnold Bennett suite at the Leopard Hotel, in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. It’s about 13 or 14 years since I painted it. It’s based on the Burslem Riot which happened at the same time as other riots were happening in the country about how people were being treated. I think it was organised by the chartists in 1843 (when they were trying to get the vote if I remember right). The riot act was read to disperse the crowd. A man called Josiah Heapy was shot dead by the troops and is remembered as a victim of oppression by the local elite. The main characters in the ainting were all based on people I knew.
This was a mural I painted quite a few years ago of a local colliery at a place called Florence, near Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. I was commissioned to paint this as a piece for the working men’s club there back in the 1990’s. The image is based on various historical pictures and photos. I had fun putting it together. It took me about six weeks to complete during weekends and evenings. It was painted in the corridor inside then installed later. X
Now the panto is over I can share the scenery paintings I did. The market scene was painted with the help of John who started it, (he’s one of the stage cew) and he helped me with the sky on the desert scene. The flat figure came back out of the “mangle” after the character playing a policeman crawled through it in search of Aladdin. I also added clothes to the front of the “washing machine”, the man playing a second policeman crawled into it, and after a few seconds a child climbed out, as if shrunken, but with a full sized uniform!
I had a lot of fun doing these, and I may be painting a mural in Wales now I’ve finished doing this.