Publicans use lockdown to commission a poignant and powerful mural on a side wall

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Custo

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Customers will enjoy a better chance to see it when the pub re-opens, hopefully within the next three weeks. Picture; STREET ART - Credit: Archant

A pub used lockdown to create a poignant and powerful memorial of the last war on a side wall.

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Custo

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Customers will enjoy a better chance to see it when the pub re-opens, hopefully within the next three weeks. Picture; STREET ART - Credit: Archant

For publicans Gary and Julie Munns, it was something they’ve wanted to do and decided to commission the work as they prepare to re-open next month.

“Gary and I have a history of family members in the war,” said Julie.

“I had always wanted this mural on the pub wall to reflect the war and now we have it.”

Gary said he had hoped it might have been ready for VE Day but is there for VJ Day in August.

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Custo

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Customers will enjoy a better chance to see it when the pub re-opens, hopefully within the next three weeks. Picture; STREET ART - Credit: Archant


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They commissioned Nathan Murchdoch from Street Art, Peterborough, whose most recent and memorable commission was for Black Lives Matter in Peterborough.

Julie said that when they considered the mural, they felt it important to include memories from the different services to reflect different family members.

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She said the Lancaster bombers represents an uncle who flew 63 missions and the Four Winds emblazoned on the plane was the one in which he flew.

Parachutists represents another arm of the family.

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Custo

This poignant mural has been created on the side of the Straw Bear public house in Whittlesey. Customers will enjoy a better chance to see it when the pub re-opens, hopefully within the next three weeks. Picture; STREET ART - Credit: Archant

Julie said it would be a centre point for the garden that “wraps around the pub” and if the weather is good in July will be visible from all areas.

The couple have owned the pub for some time but only took over the running of it for the past three years.

Julie said they closed, like everyone else, just before Mothers’ Day and were forced to abandon a booked restaurant that day. Instead people were invited to call in for a take-away carvery.

However, because they couldn’t guarantee staff safety in the kitchen, they have not gone into the take-away business like some other pubs.

They are ready and rearing to go once the pub gets the green light to re-open.

Street Art posted to their Facebook page that “through all weathers, we deliver to our customers.

“We finished this war memorials tribute last night in the rain - a special thanks to Gary and Julie for making us feel welcome”.

Kelli Pope , who describes himself as being an 18 year veteran of HM Forces and a former local and customer, said: “I would like to say.. well played The Straw Bear #respect”. Another said: “The moody sky really sets that piece off”.

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