Thursday, 14 November 2019

LBOC 2020 - Will we be allowed to see the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals next year?

The east side of the subway, with new illuminated panels and one mural scene displayed, 5 Nov. 2019.
Guest post by Philip Grant

I have written a number of guest blogs about the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals in the past year, including one saying ‘now you see them, soon you won’t.’ LINK  For those who are interested, I am trying to get Quintain and the Council to let you see at least some of the murals for a few months during Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture 2020.

Last weekend, I wrote to Quintain’s recently appointed Cultural Director for Wembley Park Arts, Josh McNorton LINK , setting out my suggestions for how the murals (or full size images of them) could be put on display. To make this happen would involve working with the Council, so I have now sent a pdf copy of my letter to Brent’s Chief Executive, Carolyn Downs, with copies to the Lead Member for Culture, the Artistic Director for LBOC 2020 and other officers and councillors who should be interested. This is my letter to Josh McNorton:

(I believe that the photograph of the east wall murals, on page 3 of my letter, is the work of local photographer Amanda Rose.)

In my email to Ms Downs I have said:

As you are aware, from previous discussions with representatives of Wembley History Society, the murals are a Council-owned public work of art, specially commissioned for the subway between Wembley Park Station and Olympic Way in 1993. They colourfully celebrate a wide range of sports and entertainment events held at the stadium and arena. They are a heritage asset, reflecting the cultural history of Wembley Park, which deserves to be seen again by residents and visitors during our year as London Borough of Culture.

I hope that you will forward this email and attachment to the officers and councillors who need to be involved, and encourage them to work with Wembley Park Arts / Quintain to ensure that the murals are displayed during 2020, and that the Council and LBOC 2020 actively publicise when they will be on display, so that as many people as possible can enjoy seeing them.’

The mural scene showing footballers and the old ”twin towers” stadium is now back on display, after six years of being covered-up. That will be of interest to thousands of fans coming to the stadium for Euro 2020 matches and other games, but there is far more to Wembley Park’s sports and entertainment heritage than just football.

I know that there are a number of Brent councillors who would like to see all, or at least as many as possible, of the tile murals displayed next year. I hope that they will use their best efforts to ensure that this happens. But whether we will see the tile murals again for a time during 2020 remains an open question


Philip Grant said...

Nearly two weeks on, and I have not received even an acknowledgement from Wembley Park Arts or Brent Council in response to my letter and email about the tile murals.

I know that Josh McNorton received my letter, however, as he had mentioned it to someone I met on 15 November.

Philip Grant said...


I have just heard from Josh McNorton that the four tile mural scenes on the walls of Olympic Way, outside the subway, currently covered by vinyl sheets advertising the Boxpark, will be on public display between 17 January and 25 February 2020.

These scenes show a Rock Drummer (part of a larger mural celebrating stadium concerts), and American Football, Rugby League and Ice Hockey players.

The timing of the "reveal" of these mural scenes is to coincide with the LBOC 2020 launch event, RISE, which is taking place in Olympic Way on Saturday 18 January.