Hucknall’s heritage murals given a new lease of life

Councillors and members of Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group by the murals at the bridge. From left, they are: volunteer Sandy Singleton, Coun Lauren Mitchell, of Hucknall, Sheila Robinson, of the group, Coun Cheryl Butler and former Hucknall councillor John Wilkinson.
Councillors and members of Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group by the murals at the bridge. From left, they are: volunteer Sandy Singleton, Coun Lauren Mitchell, of Hucknall, Sheila Robinson, of the group, Coun Cheryl Butler and former Hucknall councillor John Wilkinson.

Murals reflecting Hucknall’s heritage have been given a new lease of life after they were removed from shops due to be demolished.

They have been installed on an upgraded bridge at Station Road, which overlooks the town’s train and tram station.

“We are so pleased that a new home has been found for the murals, which now provide an interesting feature at a gateway into the town,” said Hucknall councillor Nicolle Ndiweni, who is portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at Ashfield District Council.

“The council commissioned them more than ten years ago to improve the appearance of some derelict buildings in the town centre while awaiting the construction of the recently opened inner bypass. The murals became a much-loved part of the town.”

The murals depict different aspects of Hucknall’s heritage, including coal mining and framework knitting. Commissioned as part of a community art scheme, they brightened up several buildings, including on Baker Street by the Market Place.

As the buildings were knocked down to make way for the bypass, it looked as if the murals might be thrown on to the scrapheap. But after consultation with local people, the council decided to move them to the bridge. The original artist, Peter Massey, was even called in to give them a spruce-up before the switch to their new location.

The bridge at Station Road re-opened last October after being shut for six months to be rebuilt and strengthened as part of Network Rail’s plan to improve Hucknmall train station.

Jon Batsford, project manager at Network Rail, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Ashfield District Council and heritage groups in Hucknall to ensure the murals can continue to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors. This bridge was re-built as part of our railway upgrade plan, and the murals are a really nice finishing touch to it.”

Saving the murals also won a thumbs-up from Hucknall Tourism and Renegeration Group, whose treasurer, Sheila Robinson, said: “It’s lovely that we have found a place where they can all be displayed together. The mnurals tell the story of Hucknall’s history and are an important fixture in the town.”