In the paper!

 

I can’t use the actual painting in this blog because I don’t have the memory on my plan. But imagine this is a mural of the Burslem Chartists riot of 1842 that I painted in the Leopard Hotel, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent in about 2007.

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The mural includes the hotel, the original town hall in Burslem and Josiah Wedgewood House.

The painting included police and members of the Staffordshire troop taking on rioters in Burslem. The rioters were Chartists and were fighting for the rughr to vote. One of them was killed, his name was Josiah Heapy and he now has a memorial in Swan Square, Burslem.

My mural included local people from 2007 depicted as rioters. These include local historians Fred Hughes and Mervyn Edwards and the then owners of the pub, Neil Crisp and Neil Cox. Other members of the hotel staff are included. I really wish I could show it you. If I sort things out I will post photos.

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Urban murals

Here are two murals in Stoke Town centre (or Stoke-upon-Trent) one of the six towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent.

The market is mostly held inside this building with food stalls including fish and meat. Clothes stalls and all sorts of other merchandise.

Several years ago (almost 40) the old market burnt down. I remember sitting in a friends garden and seeing the plume of black smoke flowing high up into the sky. The cause? An electrical fault. The site was cleared but the local Labour Party fought for it to be rebuilt and a few years later the new market rose on a part of the site near the old market hall. There followed a library and council buildings. Nowadays the market is less busy. More shops are closing in the town. Cuts to local government are affecting the jobs in the town and city. Services have been slashed because of austerity measures bought in after the 2010 general election. The cuts really bit when the local administration went over to a Conservative and independent coalition.

Maybe one day things will improve. In the meantime it’s good to see the vibrant murals on the market building.

Mural

A few years ago I painted this mural for the Florence Colliery working men’s club. It’s 24 ft long and 6 ft high.

The Colliery had a pit wheel with the frame in a shape like an italic f. The painting includes a miner and a Davy lamp. The buildings were based on drawings of the old colliery. There is a huge oak tree that still survived and the who lot is surrounded by Staffordshire country side.

It took me several weeks to paint the panel’s, 6ft by 4ft. I had to place them next to each other so that the picture would line up. They were painted in emulsion paint if I remember correctly . Then varnished with yatch varnish.

They were initially erected outside the club on the main road, and covered with perspex  to protect them. The mural was moved down into the grounds of the club a few years later.

I have done a few murals in my time. Two dissapeared when the buildings they were in were demolished. I have photos of another one I helped paint. Somewhere…..