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Town to celebrate virtual carnival with giant-sized mural on seafront ‘eyesore’ hotel

PUBLISHED: 13:20 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:43 28 July 2020

Artist Colin Seal, whose team has painted a series of murals on Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Artist Colin Seal, whose team has painted a series of murals on Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A group of community-minded artists are decorating an eyesore seafront hotel with giant-sized murals, as part of an annual carnival that has been forced to go virtual by the coronavirus crisis.

Artists Colin Seal and Mel Ashcroft in front of Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel, which they have decorated with colourful murals as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLArtists Colin Seal and Mel Ashcroft in front of Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel, which they have decorated with colourful murals as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Led by well-known Sheringham artist and signwriter Colin Seal, the team have created a range of seaside-themed works on the town’s Shannocks Hotel, which has stood empty for more than 10 years. The building, whose once grand facade is now covered in peeling paint and flaking brickwork, has been surrounded by controversy, with Sheringham Chamber of Trade calling for its demolition and local people describing it as a “blight” on the town.

Six months ago, it was made the subject of a compulsory purchase order by North Norfolk District Council, which has pledged to ensure its redevelopment.

Artist Mel Ashcroft with one of the colourful characters she has painted on Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLArtist Mel Ashcroft with one of the colourful characters she has painted on Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

However, the building’s owners, Huddies Ltd, say they are committed to redeveloping the site themselves.

Mr Seal, who is well known locally for his murals at town landmarks and beauty spots, said he came up with the idea of an art trail after the carnival, which was due to take place this month, was cancelled at the height of lockdown.

A marching band painted on the walls of Sheringham's Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLA marching band painted on the walls of Sheringham's Shannocks Hotel as part of the town's virtual carnival. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

“Everybody has complained about the building and when we were approached by the carnival committee, we thought it would be a great fun way to celebrate the holiday season,” he said.

Artworks completed so far include painted ‘tiles’ on the building’s steps, a marching band created on the front of the building by printmaker Ros Copping, Dolphins and a shoal of fish painted by Sylvia Jackson and Kim Glover.

Artists Colin Seal and Mel Ashcroft in front of Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel, which they have decorated with colourful murals as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLArtists Colin Seal and Mel Ashcroft in front of Sheringham's 'eyesore' Shannocks Hotel, which they have decorated with colourful murals as part of the town's virtual carnival, which kicks off on August 1st. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Team member Mel Ashcroft, who recently completed a crab-themed mural at Dave’s fish and chip shop in Co-operative Street, has painted fun characters on the building’s façade, with names including Olivia the Clam Juggling Octopus, Brian the Blue Lobster and Corona Crab.

She said: “There has been a bit of negativity as I think people are upset that this eyesore has been left for so long, but I think the murals have brought lots of artist together and I think it’s a great fun thing to do.”

For more information about Sheringham Virtual Carnival events, which will include music, competitions, children’s events and a virtual parade, visit the Sheringham Carnival (Official) Facebook page.

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