Suffolk

Bid to uncover hidden Giles Ipswich pub cartoon mural

Cartoon mural by Giles Image copyright Giles Archive
Image caption The mural was painted on the wall of the pub's snack bar area

A mural by cartoonist Giles on the wall of one of his favourite pubs could finally be revealed after being painted over in the 1970s.

Carl Giles was commissioned to create the 15ft (4.5m) by 9ft (2.7m) drawing by a brewery for the Sporting Farmer in Ipswich in the 60s.

However, it was later painted over and the pub, now called the Drum and Monkey, is due to be demolished.

The council is sending in a conservator to see if the mural can be saved.

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The Cartoonist, who would have turned 100 today, lived in Witnesham and frequented many of nearby Ipswich's pubs and clubs.

Image caption Carl Giles, best known for his cartoons in the Daily Express, died in 1995 at the age of 78

His payment for decorating the Sporting Farmer, on Princes Street, was a crate of scotch, according to Bob Williams, a friend of Giles and former landlord of the pub.

"He never did get his case of scotch, poor old Carl, he moaned about it every day of his life," he said.

The mural, thought to be one of the cartoonist's largest works, depicts characters carrying out various farming and sporting activities including shooting.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The pub was taken over and renamed the Drum and Monkey

"I was there nine years and I used to look at it every day, you'd always see something different," Mr Williams added.

He said Giles drew the outline for the artwork and it was filled in by students from an art college.

It is not known exactly when it was painted over, or who did it, but the mural appears to have been covered with black and then white paint.

Image caption The mural has been painted over at least twice since Giles created his artwork

Ipswich Borough Council plans to send in a conservator to "test" part of the area where it is thought the mural lies.

"We will use our best endeavours to get an art expert in, who can actually take [the paint] off," a spokesman said.

"It's a very painstaking process.

"It will be fascinating to see if we can actually bring the mural back to life."

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