Councillors brighten ‘neglected coastline’ by commissioning murals across Blackhall

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Two councillors are trying to brighten up their neighbourhood by commissioning a series of murals.

Steven and Arlene Childs, of Blackhall Colliery, have come up with the idea in an attempt to promote their “neglected coastline”.

Their work has inspired others in the village – with another mural showing Michael Caine in 1971 gangster movie Get Carter, which was partly filmed in Blackhall.

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Painted on the front of their home on Ninth Street, is a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, “correlating with the Grace Darling story”.

Arlene Childs stands in front of the mural she had painted on the front of her house in Ninth Street, Blackhall. Arlene and her husband Stephen are trying to regenerate the area and have commissioned a number of murals to be painted across Blackhall.Arlene Childs stands in front of the mural she had painted on the front of her house in Ninth Street, Blackhall. Arlene and her husband Stephen are trying to regenerate the area and have commissioned a number of murals to be painted across Blackhall.
Arlene Childs stands in front of the mural she had painted on the front of her house in Ninth Street, Blackhall. Arlene and her husband Stephen are trying to regenerate the area and have commissioned a number of murals to be painted across Blackhall.

In 1838, heroic Grace risked her life to rescue the stranded survivors of a shipwrecked steamship off the Northumberland coast, receiving a number of awards for her bravery.

The Tempest, meanwhile, begins with a shipwreck scene.

This historical mural was painted by Sketch 86, a small art company made up of two artists which has painted murals across the UK.

The Childs’ also commissioned a siren scene and a painting of Hartlepool’s historic HMS Trincomalee naval vessel – both in Ninth Street – on houses that they own.

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Artist Sketch stands before one of the murals he has painted in the Blackhall area. This mural depicts a large ship trying to escape the frame it is in, and can be found on the side of a house in Ninth Street, Blackhall.Artist Sketch stands before one of the murals he has painted in the Blackhall area. This mural depicts a large ship trying to escape the frame it is in, and can be found on the side of a house in Ninth Street, Blackhall.
Artist Sketch stands before one of the murals he has painted in the Blackhall area. This mural depicts a large ship trying to escape the frame it is in, and can be found on the side of a house in Ninth Street, Blackhall.

Speaking about Blackhall and the surrounding area, Arlene, who is a parish councillor in Easington, said she wanted the murals to help “regenerate the area”.

She added: “There are so many beautiful beaches around here.

"There are easy walks and not so easy walks.

"There are so many things to see. It is phenomenal really.

Artist Sketch stands next to one of his paintings in Blackhall. This shows Michael Caine in gangster movie Get Carter, which was partly filmed in Blackhall. Picture by FRANK REIDArtist Sketch stands next to one of his paintings in Blackhall. This shows Michael Caine in gangster movie Get Carter, which was partly filmed in Blackhall. Picture by FRANK REID
Artist Sketch stands next to one of his paintings in Blackhall. This shows Michael Caine in gangster movie Get Carter, which was partly filmed in Blackhall. Picture by FRANK REID

"But this is a neglected coastline.”

Arlene claims however, that their murals are starting to put Blackhall back on the map and encourage visitors who are coming “from all over” to see them.

She said: “It’s becoming quite apparent that people are viewing it as an area to move to.

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"People have been saying, ‘I want to move there to get a mural.”

Arlene added: “There are so many good people in the village, it is just marred by the houses being neglected and the coastline.”

The pair have also commissioned two murals in West Auckland and one in Easington Colliery and plan on working with local residents and home owners to bring more murals to the area.

The pair also hope to be able to offer mural tours in the future.

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