The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Buildings at risk

BHS Murals, Stockport & Hull

The Hull BHS store, formerly a Co-op, features what was believed to be at the time of its installation in 1963, the biggest mural in Britain.  Sitting above the store entrance, the ‘Three Ships’ mosaic is 66ft high and 64ft wide (20m by 19.5m) and contains over one million tiny cubes of Italian glass.   Inside on the fourth floor is a smaller Fish Mural, depicting ceramic fish swimming in a tiled background of bubbling water, set between massive columns of kelp-like fronds in stone. Designed by Alan Boyson, a highly successful and influential figure in post war public art, the murals celebrate Hull’s proud maritime heritage and form part of an important record of the reconstruction of the city after the war.

The BHS Stockport mural is situated on the outside of the building and comprises five concrete panels with brightly coloured mosaic, depicting the history of the town across six centuries. The work was designed by Henry Collins and Joyce Pallot, who were leading proponents of historically themed post war concrete murals.  All three murals  are at risk following Historic England’s recommendation to reject C20 Society’s  applications to list both at Grade II.

Status: Hull murals Grade II listed (Nov 2019)

Buildings at risk

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