A MASSIVE mural that’s been locked away in a basement for the past decade could go back on public display.
The frieze – which is almost 40 metres long – was made nearly 50 years ago by the artist Anthony Baynes. It depicts some of the borough’s most famous sights, as they looked in the early 1960s.
Created in 1962, the mural hung for decades in the old Solihull Civic Hall – which was demolished in 1998, to make room for Touchwood.
It’s since been stored away at Solihull Library, but now the council is looking for funding to put the artwork in the public eye. David Gill, who wrote the council report, said: “Clearly a long-term solution for the mural is needed, if possible restoring it to public display.” When Baynes was commissioned, Solihull was still a Municipal Borough – part of Warwickshire.
This means that all the landmarks depicted are in what would today be classed as south Solihull, with a few from Warwickshire as well.
St Alphege Church, Knowle Locks, Malvern Hall, and Solihull High Street, are among the scenes included in the mural.
Baynes, who died in 2003, was born in New Zealand, but studied in the UK, and produced several pieces for local councils. The local authority admits that it’s an ongoing challenge to provide suitable storage and thinks that the mural could promote local tourist attractions.
Last week, Councillor Graham Craig, cabinet member for community services, agreed to look at options for external funding, including the Arts Lottery fund.