Who are you looking at? The mural trail gets under way…
You might remember that last year we were awarded a grant as part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Your High Street fund. The idea is to brighten up the centre of Wellington with a series of murals depicting some of the town’s historic makers – be they craftspeople, manufacturers or creatives.
Well, after several months of boring admin stuff, our artist was finally able to get cracking at the beginning of this year and in March, the first two murals appeared at The Pheasant Inn on Market Street in the town. They depict the most up to date of our characters – toy designer Norah Wellings and famous poet Philip Larkin, who were both living and working in the town in the 1940s. In a fictionalised scene, they’re sharing a celebratory VE Day drink.
So what’s next? Sticking with Market Street for now, the artist is working on a large mural to fill a whole shop window, and bringing to life the legend of The Wrekin Giant and the Wellington Cobbler. Initially I wasn’t sure this quite fitted our makers theme, but it was a popular choice and we’re all for democracy here at Wellington H2A, so it’s happening! And in any case, the giant made The Wrekin, and real life cobblers and cordwainers (shoemakers) were definitely making in Wellington centuries ago. This mural should be appearing towards the end of May, just in time for the Midsummer Fayre on 10th June. After that, the artist will be moving on to other sites around town, creating scenes of a bell-maker, an iron manufacturer, a brewer and an author, and plus a few others (depending which sites we can get on board). We’d love to have Regency publisher Mrs Houlston peering out from the side of Subway, but sadly the owners don’t seem interested, and likewise we’re not getting any response from the owners of the Bu Beauty premises on the corner of Bell and Crown Streets. We’ll keep trying.
Once all ten murals are complete, a Makers’ Guide will be printed taking visitors around the trail and including a map pinpointing the town’s modern-day makers, from brewers to cake-bakers and jewellers to potters. We’re also working on a new website featuring an online version of the guide plus details of events and attractions will complete the project. We know there are a handful of Wellington websites around at the moment – including this one – which, in the absence of a dedicated town visitor website, are trying to fill the gap. We’re hoping our new website will do just that.
So – keep your eyes peeled for more historic Wellington characters as they appear over the next five months.