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Photo gallery: Historical Sheringham fishing figures brought to life in promenade mural

08:49 17 July 2014

Sheringham Museum mural by artist Colin Seal.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham Museum mural by artist Colin Seal. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

A seaside community’s fishing heritage has been brought to life in a promenade mural.

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The large piece of Sheringham art features life-like paintings of fishermen in their gansies and Sally Middleton, who used to live in the town and was part of one of the great fishing families.

It has been created by sign artist Colin Seal, 70, from High Street, Sheringham, who painted the figures near The Mo Sheringham Museum.

Mr Seal, who has painted murals around the town over the past 12 years, said: “We have got some interesting sites and characters here. I wanted to make the museum come alive. I didn’t know what I was going to do at the start. I decided to ask people in the street who have grandparents and parents who were fishermen.

“If we don’t have a past we don’t have a future and the idea of the mural is to bring history alive.”

He has spent the past three weeks creating the display out of masonry paint and will finish it off with his interpretation of a fisherman’s cottage window from the 1890s, displayed in the museum.

Mr Seal, who created murals for the Disney theme parks in Florida for 16 years, will also add a bottle of milk, a cat and a mouse to the mural.

He has got visitors to the museum and passers-by, including a police officer, to have a go at painting a section.

One of the fishermen is Jimmy “Paris” West, who was born in the 1890s in Sheringham and lived his life as a true Shannock.

A group of fishermen featured on the wall is based on a postcard from the early 1900s and figures depicted are “Potter” Hardingham, Elijah Farrow, “Belcher” Johnson and John “Tar” Bishop.

The image of Mrs Middleton was taken from a photo by photographer Olive Edis in the early 1900s.

Mr Seal described Sheringham as a magic place and is creating the mural as a volunteer.

Philip Miles, museum manager, said: “The painting is already attracting people to the museum.”

Do you have an interesting art story? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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