New street art in town

I originally had today’s post sorted out at the beginning of the week but it was put on hold when I got wind of something else – a new street art installation has just appeared on the side of a building on the fringe of the town centre so I just had to go check it out and take a few photos.
The building in question was once a 4-storey textile mill dating from the late 19th century, joined to its 4-storey twin by a 2-storey central annexe, and set in the wall above what would once have been a doorway is a carved date stone – ‘J B & Co 1890’. Abandoned and derelict for many years the buildings are now owned by a north east property development company and are in the process of being converted into luxury apartments as part of a regeneration scheme, and it was this company which commissioned the artwork.
Measuring 50ft x 40ft and depicting much of the town’s history and heritage the mural was painted over the last three months by Manchester-based artists Kelzo and Entise using eight tiers of scaffolding, and it was only fully revealed last weekend. Included in the picture are Samuel Crompton’s Spinning Mule, the town hall and three of the town’s symbolic elephants, plus a couple of Manchester bees which represent the two artists. The peaks of the old mill’s original roofline are depicted in the hills at the top of the picture and the man featured is Joshua Barber, a Victorian cotton waste merchant who once owned the mill and whose initials are carved in the date stone.
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Unfortunately a high wall and solid double gates prevented me from getting the very bottom of the mural in the photo but I didn’t miss much out. A comment in the local press said the mural has ruined the side of the building but I’m sure many others will think differently – after all, a well painted piece of artwork brightening up a currently run down area has got to look better than a blank brick wall. I know which I prefer.


18 thoughts on “New street art in town

  1. I think it’s great, it would be good if a couple of the other buildings in the area could have some artwork painted on them, it would really brighten things up πŸ™‚


  2. I like the artwork too, definitely better than a huge, blank brick wall. It’s great that the mill is being saved from certain demolition.


    1. The artwork is great and certainly brightens up a big blank wall. A shame though that it’s round a side street, it deserves to be in a much more prominent position.


  3. That’s fantastic! I absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing it Eunice πŸ‘

    Who couldn’t prefer that to a plain brick wall? Whenever something great happens there are always complainers. There’s the miserable git on your local paper who clearly prefers huge plain brick walls (and is presumably already suitably rewarded by their very own misery πŸ˜„), then there’ll be the radical community who object to it being commissioned and not done as a piece of art sabotage, complaining effectively that artists shouldn’t get paid for their great work – we get that too in Manchester!

    Tony Kelso is an admin of the Manchester History Facebook group, and is well worth following:


  4. Yes, it’s in Bolton, in a side street round the corner from the Travelodge hotel on the edge of town. The true origin of the town’s association with elephants isn’t known but an elephant and castle crest has been on the coat of arms since 1799.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like all of it except for the giant birds which seem out of keeping with the rest. I like street art if it adds something to the history of place which this does, apart from the spooky birds.


  6. I’m not quite sure of the significance of the birds but I quite like them. Maybe they were put there to fill in the top of the picture but at least they are making themselves useful πŸ™‚


  7. I’ve seen a short video of the mural and the bottom of it looks to be about 8ft off the ground so there isn’t much that you can’t see because of the side wall. The wall and gates enclose a private car park belonging to a nearby office block and to be honest I think it’s a good thing that they are there – at least they are protecting the bottom of the mural from any mindless idiots who might think of trying to deface it. As for that wall being ruined by the mural, well I suppose some people just don’t appreciate nice things when they see them 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for your comment Geri, and welcome to The Mouse House. The artwork is wonderful, looks even better in real life – and good works of art don’t always have to hang on a wall in gallery πŸ™‚


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