White van artist Ruddy Muddy gets behind campaign to save Colman’s and Britvic

The muddy van artwork in support of the EDP/Norwich Evening News campaign to keep Britvic and Unilev

The muddy van artwork in support of the EDP/Norwich Evening News campaign to keep Britvic and Unilever's Norwich factories open. It was done by Ricky Minns, aka 'Ruddy Muddy'. Sign writer Lynsey Cole, known as Damsel Dragonfly, contributed the lettering. Picture: Courtesy Ricky Minns - Credit: Archant

The rallying cry to save Norwich's Britvic and Unilever factories has been immortalised in mud on the back of a white van by a talented artist.

Artist Ruddy Muddy.

Artist Ruddy Muddy. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Wicklewood artist Ricky Minns - also known as 'Ruddy Muddy' - has created a special design on the back of a white delivery van in support of the campaign to stop the city losing hundreds of jobs and the production of its iconic Colman's Mustard.

Mr Minns, 42, said he was more than happy to get behind the campaign.

He said: 'When most people think of Norwich, they think of Colman's. As a Norfolk lad, anywhere you go you can pick up some mustard and it's got the Colman's brand on the front. It's nice to see that little bit of very 'local' home, especially if you're abroad. It would be really sad if it was lost.'

Mr Minns used an image from the artist Banksy as the basis for his design, setting a pair of girls letting go of balloons on the back of a van owned by flower outlet Flowervision, where he works.

Pictured on one of the balloons is the famous Colman's bull's head logo, and on the other is the 'C' from the Britvic logo.

Mr Minns' partner, Lynsey Cole, a professional sign writer, contributed the lettering and signed her artistic name, Damsel Dragonfly.

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He said it took a whole day to create the image, first by applying a layer of mud and then carefully removing sections with a wet brush. Mr Minns said he had been creating artwork on the back of his firm's white vans for about 11 years, but has been much more active in the past year since he learned how to apply mud, allowing him work all year round.

But he said few of his designs had carried such an important message as this one. Mr Minns said: 'The other day I was speaking to someone I've known for years, and he told me a lot of his family used to work for Colman's. He said they even used to have their own fire service on site. Hearing things like that makes you realise how long it's been there and how important it is to Norwich.'

Also in support of the campaign, Norwich City fans have been encouraged to hunt down their team's older shirts with Colman's on the front and wear them the weekend match against Hull City.

To sign a petition against the closure of Britvic and Unilever's Norwcih factories, visit www.change.org