Artist brings history to life at Sunderland pub

Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.
Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.
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An artist who’s painting the streets of Sunderland with historical murals has turned his hand to one of the city’s oldest pubs.

Faces of punters past and present have been incorporated into a striking monochrome image that’s been created by Frank Styles on the side of the The Shipwrights pub in North Hylton.

Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.

Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.

It’s the latest eye-catching piece from the spray can of Frank, who’s created murals around the city, including the Raich Carter homage on the side of the Blue House pub in Hendon, that’s fast becoming a landmark.

“I did a mural at a garage in Seaham and the owner drinks in here religiously,” explained Frank. “He suggested I do a piece at the pub.

“At first I wasn’t sure as it’s not an ugly building. Then I came across an old photo of platers and realised it could work by tying in the history of the pub. It’s a really fitting piece to have on a pub which once would have been used by the shipyard workers.”

Frank researches old photographs of Sunderland on a website called searlecanada.org which documents the city’s industrial heritage in photos. He then adapts them for modern-day Wearside.

Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.

Mural artist Frank Styles with his latest work at the Shipwrights Hotel, Ferryboat Lane.

Instead of just recreating the image on The Shipwrights, he’s incorporated local people, as well as the pub landlord Alan Waters and John Lewins, from Tyne and Wear Access, who provides cherry pickers so Frank can craft his large-scale works.

Frank, who spent three weeks painting the mural, said: “The original photo is of a group of Sunderland platers from around 1920.

“I decided to replace the faces with a few of the locals, but it’s actually ruffled a few feathers because other people who drink here all the time are asking why they aren’t in.”

The artist’s also recently changed the view from Wearmouth Bridge with a piece entitled History of the River Corridor, which he created at Panns Bank.

Raich Carter looming large in Hendon

Raich Carter looming large in Hendon

One side of the image shows Panns Bank in the 1800s with the glass kilns and shipyards, while the other side shows the area in modern times with the National Glass Centre and the flats at Bonners Raff.

“That one’s anamorphic,” he said. “It actually changes depending on where you’re looking at it from.”

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland

New mural by Frank Styles on Panns Bank, Sunderland