Raising a glass to Horndean’s brewing mural

Friday, 30 November, 2018

A stunning mural has been unveiled on one of Horndean’s most iconic buildings.

The artwork has been installed on the Old Brewery apartment block, next to the Gales Brewery Tower, in London Rd, as a permanent celebration of the village’s brewing history.

At over five square metres the mural depicts a scene inside a working brewery, giving passers-by a glimpse into the inside of the brewery during the 19th century.

Appropriately it was HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson, who unveiled the work at a special ceremony on Tuesday 27 November. Mr Atkinson was the last Chief Executive of Gales Brewery when the company was sold in 2006.

Managed by East Hampshire District Council the piece was created by renowned artist Mel Holmes and funded by the Arts Council, councillor grants and the developer Linden Homes.

Cllr David Evans, an EHDC member for Horndean, has driven the project. He said: “When the old brewery was developed by Linden Homes we requested that space be set aside for a piece of public art themed on the historic Gales Brewery.

“We explored different types of artwork before settling on the trompe l’oeil style. Several designs were then put to the public who had a say on which they preferred.

“Through a lot of hard work and the support and funding from local councillors, the Arts Council and Linden Homes we now have the fabulous finished artwork proudly on display. It’s a wonderful testament to Horndean’s rich brewing history.”

Nigel Atkinson, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, said: “I had 16 most happy years working at the brewery and am thrilled to be once again in Horndean to unveil this lovely mural.

“The brewery was the centre of the village and during my time we did all we could to support the local community, so it is fantastic to see this important part of Horndean’s history honoured in this way.”

Residents had a hand in choosing the final design from three options displayed at the Three Parishes Fayre in the summer.

Mel Holmes was chosen as the artist to complete the work. He said: “I really loved creating this piece and was very pleased that it was chosen as the final design to be used on the building.”

After the unveiling the celebration continued at the Ship and Bell with a few half-pints of HSB for special guests, including former brewery owner Richard Gale.

Workshops run by professional artists have also been held in the area to give residents a chance to create their own masterpieces. In total 15 workshops were held giving would-be artists the chance to have a go at ceramics, painting and storytelling.

The artwork created in the workshops was displayed in local businesses for a week leading up to Tuesday’s unveiling, creating a fascinating art-trail through the village. The businesses taking part were Studio H, Horndean Travel Ltd, Oh'sos, Four London Road, The Ship and Bell and The Blendworth Centre.

The workshops were organised by Making Space who brought together a host of community groups to help out, including Horndean U3A, Horndean Baptist Church, The New Blendworth Centre, Horndean Infants School, The Crafty Cuppa Group and Horndean Technology College.