Tributes have been paid to a Hartlepool man whose creative eye saw his house turned into an ‘art tourist attraction’.
Retired bus driver Philip Muspratt became well-known in the town for his ‘can house’ after he covered the outside of his home in thousands of beer tins.
His house, in Raby Road, became synonymous with the area, and even featured in a film called ‘The Can House’.
The 52-minute documentary was made by Hartlepool film-maker Maxy Bianco and co-creator Michael Smith, and was released in 2012.
Mr Bianco has now paid tribute to the star of the film, who became a close friend.
He said: “Phil was such a lovely, nice man, and was very kind with his time when we were making the film.
“I know that his house has split opinion in the town, but he was a great man.
“His house became a bit of a landmark, and everyone in Hartlepool will have known about it.
“People come from all over to knock on his front door and talk about his house.
“It has become a bit of an art tourist attraction, and Phil would always invite them in.
“He was a maverick, and divided opinion, but he had such a kind heart.”
Mr Muspratt’s house features 75,000 empty beer cans, and Mr Bianco feels that it is a real work of art.
He added: “Phil had such a natural creativity.
“A lot of people may not have classed what he did as art, but it was.
“I got to know him over the course of a year when I was filming, and he was a great guy.
“It was the first real project I did in film, and it really launched my career. I’ve since gone on to make things for Channel 4.
“The film has got a bit of a cult following, particularly in the art world.
“Phil will be sorely missed.”