Guest post by Philip Grant in a personal capacity
Rugby League players tile mural, Olympic Way (courtesy of Brent Archives)
In a guest blog last November, I asked whether we would be allowed to see the Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals during Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture LINK .
I had written to Josh McNorton (the Cultural Director of Wembley Park Arts, appointed by Quintain to co-ordinate their arts input to LBOC 2020) on 9 November, with copy to Brent’s Chief Executive and others at the Council and LBOC 2020 on 13 November, to suggest ways in which they could work together to put at least some of the murals back on public display during 2020.
I have received no response from the Civic Centre, despite a sympathetic councillor “chasing up” the matter, but on 16 December I did hear back from Josh McNorton (with copy to Carolyn Downs at Brent]. He gave me the good news that 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.
Part of the Ice Hockey tile mural in Olympic Way
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 LINK . Because the subway with the murals was named after one of England’s great footballers, the mural scenes will stay on display until after the anniversary of Bobby Moore’s death (on 24 February 1993).
I understand that plans for other possible showings of the tile murals during 2020 are still under consideration. In case these do not come to anything, I hope that as many people as possible will come to see them (and the England Footballers / Twin Towers Stadium mural scene in the subway itself, which Quintain put back on display earlier this year, in response to pressure from Wembley History Society) between 17 January and 25 February 2020.
The Footballers tile mural scene, now on display in the Bobby Moore Bridge subway
If you do go to see these murals at Wembley Park, please use the chance to take photographs of them. If you are on social media (Instagram, Facebook or Twitter), please share your best photos with your friends and followers, copying them to the London Borough of Culture sites at: @lboc2020, #Brent2020, or @LBOC2020, and Wembley Park sites at: @wembley_park, #WembleyPark, or @WembleyParkOfficial
The Bobby Moore Bridge tile murals are a Council-owned public work of art, specially commissioned for the subway between Wembley Park Station and Olympic Way in 1993. They are a heritage asset, colourfully celebrating a wide range of sports and entertainment events held at the Stadium and Arena over nearly 100 years. We should not let them be forgotten, and I will continue to do my best to get them put back on permanent public display.