Urban artist makes his mark celebrating the heritage of Preston business

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A colourful new art installation is about to be unveiled in Preston to celebrate a city firm’s 160-year anniversary.

Slingers Ironmongers have commissioned graffiti artist Shawn Sharpe of Good Good Graffiti Art to create an 8m by 2.5m mural outside their offices at the Ribble Saw Mill in Paley Road.

Managing director Peter Slinger said: “Slingers was recently 160 years old and we started talking about what we could do to mark the anniversary and make an impact.

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“We were looking at old photographs and thought it would be nice to have a mural depicting some of them, along with iconic images of the city, such as Tom Finney’s famous splash photo, the Harris Library, the Preston lamb and even the bollard that keeps being knocked down in Fishergate, to add a bit of fun.”

Shawn Sharpe working on the muralShawn Sharpe working on the mural
Shawn Sharpe working on the mural

He added: “This business was set up in 1858 and we have played our part in supplying hardwear and ironmongery to a lot of firms in this area, as well as further afield. We feel we’ve have played our own part in the creation of the city and are very proud of our roots.”

Staff at the business came across Shawn after noticing his other work around the city, including a bubble-blowing mural in Adelphi Street and another at Miller’s taxi rank.

The 29-year-old from Ribbleton said: “Every customer who’s come past has spoken to me about it, they connect with different parts of it, which is great to see.

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“For me, the chance to do something big, about Preston and in my home city, is great. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do but it’s been a battle to get permission.”

Shawn Sharples against a reproduction of an image of William SlingerShawn Sharples against a reproduction of an image of William Slinger
Shawn Sharples against a reproduction of an image of William Slinger

Latham Timber have donated a long-lasting Duraply board for the mural to be created on, and it will be preserved with a special coating of lacquer.

Slingers are now considering creating another mural which they will ask customers for design ideas on.

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