An eye-catching tile mural which brightened the reception of the West Brom building society for nearly 40 years is on its way to a new home.
The Friends of Dartmouth Park were granted £9,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to remove the unique artwork from the reception wall and relocate it to Sandwell Park Farm, where it will continue to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.
The mural was commissioned in 1978 to mark the opening of the building society’s former headquarters on West Bromwich High Street. It was crafted by Sedgley artist William Burgess, who used clay from Stoke on Trent to create six separate montages inspired by the history of Sandwell.
They represent well-known local landmarks, including Galton Bridge, Oak House and the Farley Clock Tower, as well as iconic figures such as former West Bromwich Albion legend Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown who was part of the club’s FA Cup-winning team in 1968.
Chris Behan, Group Property Manager for the West Brom, said: “Mr Burgess created an impressive piece of art that celebrates the culture and heritage of our home town. For many years it has provided pleasure to staff and visitors to the Society, and was always commented on favourably.
“The West Brom has now moved away from High Street and into new offices at Providence Place, but we are delighted that the mural is getting a new lease of life in a space where the public can appreciate it, just as we have.”
The Friends of Dartmouth Park are planning an event to celebrate the installation of the art work when it is completed later this month.
Secretary Carol Hartill said: “We are very grateful to the West Brom for their generous transfer of the mural to the Friends of Dartmouth Park and for their co-operation throughout the project.
“The mural looks amazing in its new home and all visitors to Sandwell Park Farm will soon be able to enjoy this iconic artwork depicting West Bromwich’s heritage”