Residents have given their verdict on the options for a heritage mural in the heart of Barking town centre.

Almost 170 people voted and substantially more than half favoured mural artist Jake Attewell’s striking design featured above.

Jake has vowed to honour the residents’ decision and will start work on the mural above McDonalds on the corner of Short Blue Place and East Street, Barking in early May 2021.

“I’m really pleased that so many voted and that the design was a crowd favourite,” he said, “I’m really looking forward to getting started. Feel free to come down and say hello to me and my team, and please follow our progress on Instagram!”

Jake says his design is a contemporary take on Barking’s heritage, much of it lost, but still valued by residents. His design features five main elements.

  • At the apex of the wall, there’s an illustration of early twentieth century East Street, including a tram, which Jake hopes to illuminate and animate when the mural is launched next September.
  • He has also incorporated the Bascule Bridge which carried the trams over the Roding to Beckton Gas Works, once a vital transport link for many local people employed there.
  • The Curfew Tower, which is the only remaining part of Barking’s once formidable Abbey.
  • The Wellington Windmill which until 1926 stood close to the London Road bridge between the River Roding and Back River
  • The River Roding flows through the design to the quayside, where fishing boats moored when it was the country’s busiest fishing port hosting the world’s largest fleet. It continues to be an attractive focal point for Barking today.

Jake was commissioned by Be First, the Council’s regeneration organisation, to paint the mural after a competition to design artwork for the heritage wall and the brief was developed using research by local Heritage Volunteers and a public survey which took place last summer.

The commission forms part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s programme of activities which will also include a heritage trail of installations by mosaic artist Tamara Fround which will stretch from Abbey Green to Short Blue Place, depicting other lost heritage, such as the Tudor Market Hall and Leet House, jute weavers and spinners, classic high street stores and more.

More information about our heritage progamme can be found here.

Be First London