Barnard castle's historic Pittuck Mural is full restored
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
BARNARD Castle’s Pittuck Mural has been fully restored – and will be on view when St Mary’s Parish Hall reopens next month.
Restoration experts Luke Jordan and Cedric Charleof worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to restore the artwork, which was painted by former Barnard Castle School art teacher Douglas Pittuck onto the east wall of the parish hall in 1959.
A campaign to raise cash for the mural’s restoration began two years ago after it had become damaged by water seeping through the wall and roof.
The experts completed their work last week.
John Trevett, of the parish hall committee, said: “They have taken a lot of time and effort to go over it.
“They have actually taken back the over-painting to the original, particularly the faces of the people on the mural, which are back to the original warmth, and it has lightened it a lot more. It has brought out more of the colour.”
Mr Jordan added that many of the colours had been painted over during previous restoration work and this had been carefully removed to reveal the original colours, which had then been matched during the latest repair work.
Campaigners still have about £2,000 left over from the fundraising effort which will be used for future maintenance of the artwork.
In addition, an exhibition of 26 pieces of Mr Pittuck’s art, organised through his family, will go on exhibition at the hall from June 11 to 13, some of which will be on sale to raise more money.
Campaigner Paul Ing said a large Pittuck landscape painting of the Old Mill will be auctioned on Ebay to generate cash as well.
He praised the restoration effort for the way it had brought the community together.
Mr Ing said: “It has tied in the schools, the museum and the townspeople.
“The kids have done some fantastic things around it.”
The mural also gained international interest with Mr Ing being contacted by people as far away as Toronto, Canada, wanting to know more about it.
Committee member Jennie White said the mural has significant importance for the town and saving it for future generations is vital.
She added: “It is unique. It is a one only and it is never going to happen again. It is a period piece of the time when it was painted.”
Mr Trevett confirmed the hall would reopen on April 12 for people to view the art work.
He also urged groups that had used the hall before lockdown to get in touch about restarting their activities as Covid restrictions ease.