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The Swan pub mural in Wheathampstead pays tribute to local figures
Villagers in Wheathampstead have painted their way to creating something positive after a treasured Grade II listed pub was destroyed in a fire last month.
Yesterday one hundred residents, old and young alike, gathered on the Marford playing fields to paint a mural to put over the security hoardings which surround The Swan.
The community was left devastated by the loss of the High Street pub as a community facility when it was set ablaze in the early hours of July 16. Part of the pub’s roof had to be cut away so firefighters could reach the flames.
The brainchild of the rector is Reverend Richard Banham and the community project was led by St Helen's Parish Church, including Brian Gwinn.
Wheathampstead resident Gill Gwinn, one of the organisers said: "It was a terrific day.
"Everyone felt shattered when this happened so it is really nice to see something good come out of it and to see the community come together.
"The day had a real community spirit and so many people were involved in the day.
"It is now a joy to see people admire the boards when they sit on the bench or drive into Wheathampstead over the mini roundabout."
St Albans' mayor Annie Brewster joins in with the community painting.
The mural will feature 11 'Locals painted by Locals, for the Local’ including Cassivellaunus, Abbott John of Wheathampstead, John Bunyan, The Wicked Lady and George Bernard Shaw among others.
At the start of the day, Wheathampstead artist Nick Schon briefed residents on the project.
Mr Schon has produced the artwork and has been involved in the project from the start. He is best known as one of the two illustrators of the Oxford Reading Tree children books featuring Biff, Chip and Kipper.
Residents plan to use the murals as a resource around the village, which has recently developed a Heritage Trail, once The Swan is restored.
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