New urban art celebrates Preston’s rich heritage

Posted on - 26th January, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Business, Preston City Centre, Preston News
William James Slinger in 1904
This 1904 family picture of William James Slinger features in the mural

A new piece of urban art is celebrating Preston’s rich heritage.


The mural has been created at Slingers Ironmongers by Preston-born graffiti artist Shawn Sharpe. It features some of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the infamous Fishergate Bollard.

Slingers commissioned the 8m by 2.5m mural on their building at Ribble Saw Mill in Paley Road. The business – which was founded by Richard Slinger in 1858 and is now in its sixth generation – has used the mural to capture the Slinger’s family history and long association with Preston.

Managing Director Peter Slinger said: “We wanted to showcase our history and our involvement in the development of the city in a contemporary way that our customers could relate to.

“Along with illustrations taken from family pictures we wanted to include iconic images of the city, such as Tom Finney’s famous splash photo, the Harris, the Preston lamb and even the bollard that keeps being knocked down in Fishergate for people to try and spot.

“Since 1858 we’ve supplied hardware and ironmongery to many people and
firms in this area. We feel we’ve played our own part in the creation of the city and are very proud of our roots.

“A member of staff had seen Shawn’s work and knew he himself was originally from Ribbleton, so a Preston-born artist was also a good fit.”

Read more: Street art captures iconic Preston North End moment

The finished mural at Slingers
The finished mural at Slingers measures 8m by 2.5m

Shawn worked on the mural for four days, with a number of people going to see him at work. The silhouette of St Walburge’s Church was even added to the mural at a customer’s suggestion.

Shawn said: “Every customer who came past spoke to me about it. They
connected with different parts of it, which was great to see.

“This was a chance to do something big in my home city, which was great. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do, but have struggled to get funding for such projects.

“I want Preston aesthetically to be bold, bright and beautiful. I have been a part of previous projects including the Happy Landings Mural (now demolished) and the constantly changing walls on the Ships and Giggles pub. These walls represent just a small part of the visual changes we have planned for Preston.”

A timelapse video on the Slingers Facebook page shows how the mural was created.

The mural was created on Duraply board donated by Latham Timber, which is guaranteed to last 15 years. It will be preserved with a special coating of lacquer.

Slingers is planning to commission a second piece of artwork in the future, for which they’ll ask customers and the people of Preston for design ideas.

Read more: Adelphi Street mural artist becomes kids’ author

What do you think of the mural? Can you spot the Bollard? Let us know in the comments.

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