Address: Skillman’s Hardware Store, Woolwich High Road, SE18.
Size: 30′ x 30′
Materials: Keim Silicate on Lime based render.
Commissioned by: Greenwich Action Committee Against Racism; Greater London Council; London Borough of Greenwich.
Funded by: Greenwich Action Committee Against Racism; Greater London Council; London Borough of Greenwich.
Painted by: Stephen Lobb, Carol Kenna, Chris Cardale.
Finally painted out by the building’s owner in 2008.
The mural was subjected to racist graffiti even before the mural was completed, we believe due to the British National Party having established a meeting place in the Crown and Cushion across the road. Two consecutive attacks were cleaned off while the vandalism paint was still wet. The third and most extensive attack in August 1985 undermined the colour coat, as the wall hadn’t been sealed and the fresco type nature of the paint surface meant advice had to be sought from the paint manufacturers. Finally the wall was cleaned, sealed and completed spring 1986. The wall proudly spoke out to passers-by until 2008 when mysteriously someone took a brush to the wall once more and painted out all the hands and faces of the mural people with green paint. A few weeks later a phone call to the workshop from a bus passenger enquired as to whether we knew why the mural had been painted out to the height of two long ladders. We believe the new owner of the building had carried out both cases of vandalism and no effort on our part would persuade him to let us repaint it or even paint a new one. Over the months the final top 1/3 of the mural was painted out and as the weather gradually wore the paint away allowing the mural show through once more it was painted out with thick paint.