Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Mural on Hamtun Street

Something came through to my email box this morning, from the City Council, about a free family event that is going on in the Old Town this coming  Saturday (16th March).

It concerns that Mosiac on the wall of Castle House on Hamtun Road, that charts the history of Southampton from it's early days through to the present day. Although "present day" actually means 1978 as far as the mural is concerned.

It was originally created by Joyce and Henry Collins, and was unveiled in 1978. Though it's original position wasn't here in Hamtun Street.

It was commissioned by Sainsbury's, and had pride of place on the front of their brand new store in Lordshill. And there it remained until 1990, when the store was redeveloped, and the mural was donated to Southampton City Council.

From that point, it was put into storage by the council, while they tried to find a suitable place to put it. It's a fairly heavy thing, being made largely of concrete. So at least four or five men were needed just to move one slab.

Thankfully, a location was found on the wall of Castle House in Hamtun Street, and thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, it was restored and repaired in 2011.

But the purpose of this weekends event is to highlight the work being done on the new section of the mural - remember that the current one only goes up to 1978. The artist of the new piece, Joanna Dewfall, will be there to describe the process of designing the new mural, which has been inspired by ideas from local people, who also helped make the border.

I don't think I will get the time to go along, but if you do, the event starts at 10am, until 2pm, at St Michael's Church, on Bugle Street.

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