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Team of artists to restore Millfield mural to former glory

A well-loved Link Road mural in Millfield will be restored to its original vibrancy this summer.
Link Road mural now
Street art in mural which will be restored

Scaffolding and hoardings are being installed around the side of the property on Link Road/Gladstone Street, with work beginning on Wednesday, June 16.

A team of local artists have been studying original photographs, learning to use specialist paint, and will spend approximately two to three months on the project. The estimated completion date is the end of August 2021.

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.

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.”

mural close upA close up of some of the images as they looked in their prime. By Peterborough Presents

“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 forty 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.”

“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.

Work officially begins on rendering the wall on June 16, and the artists will begin painting at the beginning of July.

For more details click here or follow them on Facebook at Peterborough Presents.