It’s hard not to notice the huge mural adorning the side of a house just off Tottenham Court Road but I suspect many people walk on straight by it.
Created in 1980 and painted by Mick Jones and Simon Barber the mural has looked over a piece of common ground gifted to Londoners for use as open space. The space, Whitfield Gardens is now a place to sit and relax for shoppers needing to take a rest or tourists just exploring the area.
The mural contains themes from the era in which it was painted and retains memories from the time as a result. It contains a portrait of former Fitzrovian resident Dylan Thomas as well as an unflattering caricature of a former leader of the Greater London Council, Horace Cutler, depicted as a vampire.
It’s suffered damage in it’s time but it’s still looking okay despite problems with mould, bleaching from the sun and paint peeling. Graffiti is also a problem with low grade tagging covering parts of the lower section of the mural.
It’s worth seeing and is just a short walk from Goodge Street station. As a window into the past the mural is an important feature in the area and should be appreciated.
A few more interesting articles about the mural can be found at The London Mural Preservation Society and Londonist.