Landmark mural in Peterborough to be restored over summer

Work is set to start next week on restoring the well-loved 1980s Link Road mural in Millfield to its original vibrancy.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 4:48 am
The Link Road mural which is to be restored
The Link Road mural which is to be restored

Scaffolding and hoardings are being installed around the side of the property on the junction of Link Road and Gladstone Street, with work commencing on Wednesday (16th).

A team of local artists have been studying original photographs, learning to use specialist paint, and will spend the summer months on the project. The estimated completion date is the end of August.

The mural was designed and painted by artist Francis Gomila in 1982, with the help of art students from Peterborough Technical College. Painted on the side of a house, it depicts a mirrored street scene of Link Road and Gladstone Street, featuring real people from the area who lived there at the time.

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The Link Road mural which is to be restored

The mural was dedicated in memory of Roger Brooks, City Councillor and Chairman of Urban Renewal Action Committee. Unfortunately, Roger passed before the mural was completed, and so it was dedicated by Councillor A.R. Shelford, The Mayor of Peterborough on September 23, 1982.

Community arts programme Peterborough Presents was successfully awarded a grant of £44,900 from National Heritage Lottery Fund to create an arts and heritage project called ‘The Millfield Link’, which includes funding the restoration the mural, with additional funding from Peterborough City Council. They have been working closely with Community First, Gladstone Connect and the city archives to coordinate the project.

Sarah Haythornthwaite, Programme Director of Peterborough Presents, said: “We are so pleased to be able to restore this beautiful mural, which is loved by the communities in Millfield, and we are thankful to have such brilliant local community partners on board to make this possible.”

“The wall will look a little blank at first, but don’t worry! In order to make sure the wall is secure and the mural lasts another 40 years, we need to make sure the wall is rendered first. Once the rendering has set, then our team of amazing artists will get to work and the vivid artwork will be as bright as it was in the 1980s.”

Sarah added: “The wall has recently had a Palestinian flag painted over the top, and we don’t want people to think we are removing the image for that reason, as that is not the case at all. We’ve been planning this restoration since 2019, and unfortunately the pandemic halted our progress for a while. But, we are finally ready to get going. Please wish us good weather so that we don’t have any rainy delays!”

The artists involved in the restoration are Street Arts Hire, led by Nath Nice; Stuart Payn; Tony Nero; Amanda Rigby and Jason Duckmanton of Paper Rhino.

The artists will begin painting at the beginning of July.