Popular artist Lewis Hobson, of Durham Spray Paints, hosted a free ‘mural walk’ today (May 6) on the Historic Headland in Hartlepool.
The successful event attracted around 50 guests.
Beginning at the junction of Marine Drive and Friar Terrace at 2pm, people of all ages were in attendance to learn the inspiration, and stories behind the popular mural’s that have attracted further tourism to the area.
The first, and most recent mural is on the side of a property on Marine Drive, the homeowners were present for the walk and said how they reached out to Durham Spray Paints for advice on the design.
When asked if he needed planning permission for his murals, Hobson answered “Sometimes, especially on protected areas such as the Headland and Durham City Centre.”
“With this one in particular, we were told as long as it is in keeping with the theme of the area, not offensive or political, then it’s generally okay.”
Hobson, of Spennymoor, worked as a carer during the pandemic. Reportedly quitting around the time his murals began taking off in Hartlepool.
Baptist Street (back street)
The second mural on the walk was on the back of a private property in Baptist Street, home owner Dirk Van Der Werff joined the event briefly to give some history on the property. He said, “During the bombardment in 1914, a shell came through this house next door, killed a lady, and demolished the back of my house.
“There is history all around on the Headland, and now Lewis is making his own history with his murals.”
Hobson said, “The Headland is what I wanted to do a tour of because it is so much more than the paintings, there is also so much history, with my stories intertwined as well.”
Alley between Baptist Street and Marquis Street
The Pot House
The fifth mural is painted on an old munitions store, that is now used for storing fishing equipment, and is of a popular comic strip by local cartoon artist, Reg Smythe, created in 1957.
The sixth mural, a crowd favourite, painted on the side of local pub The Ship. Hobson told the group of his collaboration with the RNLI, “I went to the RNLI press officer and said I was interested in doing a mural, I originally wanted to do a portrait of someone, but nobody really wanted to be the star of it.
They gave me a tour of their station and I got to learn more about what they do. We sat down in the special space they use to decompress after a call out and looked over some pictures.
We chose one together, which ended up being this.”
“The community was really grateful to have this done for the RNLI.” He added.
The Fisherman’s Arms
The seventh and final mural on the walk is of a Victorian fish wife on the wall of The Fisherman’s Arms, Hobson described the mural, “based on this being the fish quay, this is a fish wife to pay tribute to any sort of woman that would have walked up and down here.
“This was my first painting at this huge scale, although I found it really hard at the time, I’m so glad we chose this picture because I really enjoyed doing it and what I learned from it. It’s in such a nice position, a little bit hidden and really nice to tell a bit of the history of the area.”
Along the walk, Hobson shared his painting techniques, and informed guests that he occasionally hosts free workshops. For more information, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/DurhamSprayPaints
Taking just over an hour to complete, Durham Spray Paints will be hosting another Headland Mural Walk on May 16, at 1pm.