Large mural in Flowergate, Whitby, set to show off town's maritime sculpture trail

A large mural is set to be erected on the side of a building in Whitby in order to guide visitors around the town’s new heritage trail.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 30th July 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 1:02 pm
How the mural will look on the side of Astin's, Whitby.
How the mural will look on the side of Astin's, Whitby.

Scarborough Council’s planning committee will next week decide on plans for the 4.3 metre wide by 3.2 metre high mural that will show the nine locations of the 10 wire frame sculptures by local artist Emma Stothard.

The heritage trail aims to provide local people and visitors to the town an insight into the local fishing industry and its history.

The mural is proposed to be placed on the gable end of 47 Flowergate - Astin's estate agents - a Grade II listed building.

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Whitby Walk With Heritage mural.

A second mural, planned for a building in Church Street, has been dropped from the scheme by the council after concerns were raised that it could prove distracting to drivers.

A report, prepared for the planning committee when it meets on Thursday next week recommends that permission be granted.

It states: “While the sculptures to which the mural relates are sensitively designed so as to blend with their surroundings, the mural has been designed to have a visual impact and draw the eye, but in a manner that is sensitive rather than overtly commercial in visual character.

“The graphic approach adopted is considered to be appropriate for the historic setting and mitigates the harmful visual impact that could otherwise occur.

“Clearly, if it were discreetly located and more modest in size the mural would not have the desired impact as a wayfinding tool for the heritage trail.”

The sculptures include fisherwife, a man mending a net, a woman knitting a gansey, photographer and artist Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, a crow’s nest with a lookout, Dora Walker (the only woman to hold a skipper’s licence in the North Sea during World War One) and a herring lassie.

Whitby Civic Society had objected to both proposed murals during the consultation process.

In its letter to the council it said: “The proposed murals are of a disproportionate size that is incongruous with the immediate context, and would add to existing visual clutter of often poorly designed signs.

“They will thus detract from rather than enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.”