Appeal to uncover Yate Shopping Centre artwork made by Chipping Sodbury mosaicist Brian Bull
THE son of a prolific mosaicist from Chipping Sodbury is on a personal mission to have one of his most treasured pieces of work put back on public display.
Paul Bull is looking to have a mosaic of Yate Shopping Centre, which his late father Brian Bull created in 1965, uncovered from its last known hanging place within the former Riley’s snooker hall on East Walk.
Mr Bull, of Cherry Road on The Elms estate, said the piece had great sentimental value but was also an historic record of Yate which his father had given to the town.
“It was presented to the shopping centre in 1965 and was hung in Riley’s,” Mr Bull told the Gazette. “As far as I know it is still there but it has been boarded up.
“No-one seems to know what has happened to it and I would like to know if it still there. If it is there, it was a gift to the shopping centre and it would be nice to get it uncovered again.”
Mr Bull is the last of his family of mosaicists to still be working in the industry and runs his own studio from his home in Chipping Sodbury. In its heyday in the 1970s, the family business was the largest mosaic company in Europe and created customised mosaics for high profile clients including the Sultan of Oman.
Other examples of his father’s work include three pieces still on display in St Mary’s Church in Yate.
“Dad was a local and had lived in the area since 1964,”said Mr Bull, whose father died in 2006. “The piece of the shopping centre was a view from the White Lion on Church Road and obviously things have changed a lot since then.
“It was a big piece of work and it would be really nice to get the mosaic exposed and back in the public eye.”
Riley’s, previously home to Spiral's nightclub, closed in 2010 and was later reopened as Waves nightclub before that business closed in 2012. Anytime Fitness signed a lease for the premises with the shopping centre and fitting out work is now nearing completion before the gym opens this autumn.
Andy Lowrey, manager of Yate Shopping Centre, said: "We are keen to support Mr Bull in finding this mural and will be doing a full search of the premises with him.
“It's important that we try to retain any artefacts from the early days as the shopping centre will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. It was one of the very first US-type shopping centres to be built in this country and over recent years has gone through a major transition.
“Retaining murals such as this is important not only for the centre but also the community.”
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