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The work of a small group of Birmingham based mural painters is contrasted with the dying art of fairground decoration, on show at the Nottingham Goose Fair.





Film type:

Colour / Sound




Central Television

Master format:

1 Inch Type C


We are introduced to a group of artists who call themselves 'The Mural Company'. They are: Mark Renn; Steve Field; and Paula Woof.

They are interviewed and shown looking at one of their artworks, called the Handsworth triptych, that depicts images of wild animals and is painted on the exterior of three houses at Handsworth in Birmingham.

Members of the Mural Company are then seen visiting the area around the Five Ways junction at Edgbaston in Birmingham where they provide a heavily critical commentary on the (1960s modernist) public art on display.

We see the group looking at a decorated tower block at Five Ways, a sculpture (described as looking like drinking straws), and standing next to a statue of Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck in Auchinleck Square which is part of the Five Ways shopping centre.

Next we visit Hockley Port in Birmingham, a site where the Mural Company are currently employed by Cut Boat Folk Ltd to produce a series of large murals. We see the artists planning their work; in meetings with the site owners; demonstrating their grid scaling system which enables them to convert their designs to the sizes required; and examples of their finished work which has an industrial heritage theme.

To contrast with the work of The Mural Company we next visit the annual Nottingham Goose Fair held at Forest Fields to see the use of mural art in the context of fairground decoration. We are introduced to Geoff Weedon and Richard Ward who have compiled a book of fairground art. They are interviewed and provide a commentary on the artwork of the fair's rides. They are critical of modern fairground decoration and talk about the death of traditional art.

Anthony Harris, Chairman of the Midlands section of the Showman's Guild is interviewed about the need for decoration on fairground attractions.

One person who is keeping traditional artwork and lettering styles alive is Fred Fowle. He is seen at work in his studio. Examples of his work are shown as well as those of the Ripley based artist Peter Tate.

Interview with fairground artists Paul Wright and Peter Tate. Tate is then seen visiting Fred Fowle and the pair discuss Fred's work and show examples from the book produced by Weedon and Ward.

Futher interviews with Paul Wright and Peter Tate follow and examples of their work including Wright's paintings on a 'wall of death' are shown. They discusses the current popularity of science fiction imagery but predict a gradual decline in the use of hand painted artwork due to economic issues.


The Producer wishes to thank:
Cut Boat Folk Ltd, Birmingham
Midland Tool Hire Ltd, Halesowen
Mr Arthur Hooker, Clerk of the Markets, Nottingham City Council
The Showman's Guild of Great Britain
Geoff Weedon and Richard Ward authors of "Fairground Art" published by White Mouse
Editions in conjunction with New Cavendish Books

Camera - John Varnish, Bob Bolt, Kevin Latimer, Peter Greehalgh
Sound - Steve Phillips, Barry Pritchard, John Marshall, Bill Dodkin
Production Assistants - Carol Glover, Eunice Bird, Annette Cunningham
Film Editors - John McNell, Martin Roche
Director - Richie Stewart
Producer - J. B. J. Berrow (Jim Berrow)


Production number 8790/82.