Retired Hartlepool fisherman devotes town's latest giant mural to late wife

The story behind Hartlepool’s latest giant mural has been revealed as it nears completion.
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Lewis Hobson, of Durham Spray Paints, has painted another creation in Hartlepool, this time on the side of a retired fisherman’s house in Lumley Square, on the Headland.

This is the 12th mural Lewis, from Spennymoor, in County Durham, has painted in the town.

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Commissioned by resident Tony Pearson, 88, the mural depicts a fishing boat out at sea, illustrating the memories he and his late wife, Edith Pearson, 86, shared.

Retired fisherman, Tony Pearson, 88, has a mural painted on the side of his house in memory of his late partner, Edith, 86.Retired fisherman, Tony Pearson, 88, has a mural painted on the side of his house in memory of his late partner, Edith, 86.
Retired fisherman, Tony Pearson, 88, has a mural painted on the side of his house in memory of his late partner, Edith, 86.

Tony said: "A long time ago, I was a seaman and I saw a picture of a boat.

"I then saw these paintings around Hartlepool and thought that would be fine on my house end.”

Since leaving school at the age of 14, Tony has always been employed at sea, working both on the oil rigs and as a fisherman until his retirement.

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He said: “I left school at 14 on the Friday, and on the Saturday I was down the fish quay looking for a job.

Edith Pearson, 86, had a mural devoted to her on the side of her husband's house in Lumley Square.Edith Pearson, 86, had a mural devoted to her on the side of her husband's house in Lumley Square.
Edith Pearson, 86, had a mural devoted to her on the side of her husband's house in Lumley Square.

"I was on the sea all my life.”

Speaking about the idea behind the mural, Tony said: “I wanted it doing because I do not know how long I have got.

"It would be nice to remember Hartlepool and for my wife, Edith.”

The couple met on the sea front as Edith took her niece for a stroll, getting engaged at the age of 17 and marrying at 23.

Lewis Dobson, of Durham Spray Paints, lights up Tony's mural at Lumley Square, in the Headland, during Hartlepool's Wintertide Festival in November 2023.Lewis Dobson, of Durham Spray Paints, lights up Tony's mural at Lumley Square, in the Headland, during Hartlepool's Wintertide Festival in November 2023.
Lewis Dobson, of Durham Spray Paints, lights up Tony's mural at Lumley Square, in the Headland, during Hartlepool's Wintertide Festival in November 2023.

Tony said: “I married the best girl in Hartlepool.”

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Sadly, Edith – who was a crafter by trade – passed away two years ago.

Tony said: “I miss her every day.”

In November 2023, as part of Hartlepool’s Wintertide Festival, Lewis transformed Tony’s Hartlepool home into a wall of light, projecting different colours onto the wall.

The word ignite was temporarily painted on top of the mural in red, yellow, green and blue, hiding the ship which was then painted in.

Tony’s mural is nearly completed.

For a map of where to find all of Lewis’s other works of art, visit his page Durham Spray Paints on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DurhamSprayPaints.