Back to life: The Maypole’s mural gets a new lick of paint

John Whitham and artist Craig Ainge at The Maypole Inn,  Warley
John Whitham and artist Craig Ainge at The Maypole Inn, Warley

THE iconic mural on the side of Warley town’s Maypole Inn is being brought back to life.

After months of wrangling, landlord John Whitham has succeeded in getting the boards removed and the painting touched up.

Boards were put up by owners Enterprise Inns after no compromise could be made over paying for its upkeep.

It was boarded over and the boards were painted the same colour as the rest of the pub.

At the time residents and the Warley Community Association voiced their concerns. They wrote to Enterprise Inns asking them to preserve the image - despite the estimated £10,000 pricetag to restore it.

But now, they have had a change of heart, and work to restore the classic street scene - complete with tudor houses - has begun.

Artist Craig Ainge, working for Leeds-company SR Signs, will spend around two weeks bringing it back to its former glory.

He has already brushed the flaking paint and applied a clear seal and next the painstaking job of repainting the scene will begin.

He will then varnish the mural, hoping to keep it safe for years to come.

Landlord John, who took over the pub in September with his wife Claire, said it had been his dream to restore the mural.

His daughter Tracey runs the pub, which lies in the heart of the village.

“It was something from day one that I wanted to bring back.

“It’s iconic for the village.”

And there has been almost unanimous support for its return.

“They’re all really happy that the village pub is being brought to being the heart of the village.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with how much public interest there has been,” he said.

He has been meeting with Enterprise for months to finalise the plans and the village is now waiting for the restored masterpiece to be revealed.

“People can’t wait. They really are excited. The village is excited about it and it’s what they’ve wanted all along,” said John.

Artist Jeff Beck painted the mural in 1970.