Hartlepool skatepark gets bright new look by urban artist

STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth  with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD
STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD
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A Hartlepool skatepark has been given a bright new look thanks to some stunning street art.

Urban artist Richard Illingworth has spent the last few days giving the Mill House Skate Park a cool new look.

STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth (29) from Stockton with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth (29) from Stockton with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

All four internal walls have been given a makeover including a silhouette Hartlepool skyline.

Cartoon characters Bart Simpson and his best friend, appropriately called Millhouse, have also been painted onto a larger wall at the park where local BMX and micro-scooter riders pull off their tricks.

Richard, 29, volunteered his skills for free after he was approached by Richard Shaw, better known as Hartlepool’s Bubble Man.

The graffiti artist said: “This is a passion of mine and it is nice to do something for the community.

Kids just walk in and go ‘woah’ because they are not expecting it

Richard Illingworth, street artist

“A lot of the kids who use the park really like it. They just walk in and go ‘woah’ because they are not expecting it, so it has been great.

“In the skyline I’ve included ships and industry to represent Hartlepool.”

Hotel worker Richard, from Stockton, was struggling for inspiration what to put along one wall.

But he remembered a quote from the late American singer Ray Charles which he felt fitted perfectly – Just Let It Do What It Do.

STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth  with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

STREET ART: Street artist Richard Illingworth with some of his work at the Mill House Skate Park in Hartlepool Picture: DAVID WOOD

Richard Shaw, who grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, before moving to Hartlepool in 2010, is a familiar figure for his bubble creating at parks and public events, simply to make people happy.

He contacted skatepark owners Hartlepool Borough Council with the street art idea.

He said: “I would come through here two or three times a day and noticed the kids playing, but they didn’t seem to be having fun.

“I approached the council and sent them some of Richard’s pictures and it went from there.”

The skatepark’s ramps are also due to get a lick of paint before a small opening party on Sunday.

It is on from noon to 3pm when there will be music, food and Richard Shaw’s bubble displays.

A council spokesman said: “We would like to thank Richard Shaw and Richard Illingworth for the part they have played to improve the appearance of the Mill House skate park.”