Pub Renovation Reveals Amazing Mural Hidden For More Than 50 Years
Andy Harrison and Tom Smith decided to use the time that the pub is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic to give the place a bit of a makeover, but when they were preparing to re-plaster The Cock Inn in Hanbury they made something of an unexpected discovery.
After they had scraped off the old wallpaper, they discovered a wall to ceiling mural that is painted straight onto the original plaster and depicts an outdoors scene with lakes, woodland, and bridges.
The mural is signed George Cole, 1953.
As soon as they discovered what lay beneath the wallpaper, they immediately stopped their work so as not to damage the painting.
Andy's wife Wendy, who runs the pub as the manager, said that the plan now is to restore the painting to how it was originally intended.
She explained: "We decided, obviously, to close the pub due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"We thought we would do some decorating as it hasn't been touched for years.
"We started in in the lounge and then decided we would do the bar as well. As we began to take off the wallpaper we saw a picture."
"We thought it just going to be on the one wall but noticed that it went all the way around the pub.
"We took the dartboard down so it's behind there as well. It's a landscape painting and it is quite big.
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"It's got a lake on it, with a bridge and there are lots of trees.
"There are a man and a boat on there too, it's really very impressive. There are rabbits, birds in the sky, there is all sorts going on in there.
"We are definitely planning on the mural. We have been in touch with artists about getting it touched up.
"It has been covered up for about 50 years and we think it is around 70 years old."
Wendy reckons that George Cole must have been a man who was paid to decorate pubs in this style during the mid-1900s.
That's a fair guess, given that he's painted on the wall of a pub, here.
She continued: "We have had some comments online. One of them said that they had a painting by a man called George Cole in their mum's house.
"We think he's local but we've got no information on him. We Googled him but can't find anything else on him really."
"It would be nice to have some more information on him and the piece. My husband used to visit the pub when he was a kid with his parents sometimes.
"He remembered it being there before, back in the 70s. A few people in a village remember it."
Her husband Andy added: "It's such a shame this outbreak came when it did as we've only had the pub for a year.
"It would have been our anniversary in April. We planned on having a big party for it.
"Obviously, that's all not happened so it's a shame, but we plan on holding it when it is safe to do so."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS