Bar Owners Uncover Spectacular Decades-Old Mural While Redecorating During Lockdown


Two bar owners in the village of Hanbury in Worcestershire, England, discovered a mural that had been hidden underneath wallpaper for 50 years while they were redecorating during the lockdown.

Andy Harrison and Tom Smith were preparing to replaster the walls of the Cock Inn while it was empty during the current health crisis, The Sun reported.

“We decided, obviously, to close the pub due to the coronavirus outbreak,” Wendy Harrison, Andy’s wife and the pub’s manager, said.

“We thought we would do some decorating as it hasn’t been touched for years.”

As landlords Andy Harrison and Smith scraped away the wallpaper, they revealed a painting that was drawn on the original plaster.

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“We noticed that it went all the way around the pub,” Wendy Harrison said.

Andy Harrison stopped the redecorating effort immediately to avoid damaging the mural.

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Wendy Harrison said the mural was so big that they had to take down the dartboard to reveal more of it.

“It’s a landscape painting and it is quite big. It’s got a lake on it, with a bridge and there are lots of trees,” she said.

“There are a man and a boat on there too, it’s really very impressive. There are rabbits, birds in the sky, there is all sorts going on in there.”

“George Cole, 1953” was signed at the bottom of it.

The painting has been covered for about 50 years, but the bar owners think it is around 70 years old.

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“It would be nice to have some more information on George Cole and the piece. We think he’s local but we’ve got no information on him,” Wendy Harrison said.

There is an English painter named George Cole listed on Wikipedia who was known for his landscapes, but it is unknown whether this is the man behind the beautiful mural.

Wendy Harrison hopes to be able to restore the painting to its original glory.

“We have been in touch with artists about getting it touched up,” she said.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith