The latest in a series of brand new artworks has been unveiled in Cadishead to bring local history to life.
It’s in memory of local butcher Robert ‘Bob’ Boardman, who ran a traditional butcher’s shop in the district for over 50 years.
He passed away aged 62 earlier this year leaving no immediate family, but a legacy of community mindedness which will live long in the memory.
“He was remembered as such a kind, gentle man,” said Hamilton Davies Trust’s general manager Mandy Coleman.
“He used to give away meats cheaply to people less well-off who couldn’t afford them, and he was always known for his kind demeanour.
“Our managers attended his funeral and were blown away by the level of regard people had for Bob.
“We saw this as the perfect way to honour him and his contribution to local life.”
Artist Rachelle Cleary created the 15ft by 8ft painting of Bob’s Butcher shop over the course of two months, at the corner of Fir Street and Liverpool Road.
It needed a special type of exterior grade emulsion to get the colours right.
After a little light sketching Rachelle painted directly onto the blank wall, just 30 yards round the corner from the famed butcher’s shop.
Bob is immortalised twice in the painting, once on the far left wearing a bobble hat of his beloved Manchester United, and again third from the left in his most recognisable role serving customers under the watchful eye of mentor Jim Watson.
“The first incarnation takes note of Bob’s passions,” said Rachelle, “football, betting and fishing.”
Also making the frame are Terry Prior and Mr Watson, who sold on the shop to Bob when he retired.
“They all looked after one another, said Mandy, “even after they retired they would all go back to help Bob out.”
Rachelle and local regeneration charity the Hamilton Davies Trust have been collaborating to brighten up derelict buildings and bring a little life back into a once-declining neighbourhood.
“These kind of artworks generate a sense of pride in the area and give a lot of pleasure to local people,” said Mandy.
You can see a selection of fantastic pictures of all these similar paintings, taken by local photographer Phil Hogan, on Facebook here.
One run-down, boarded-up house was given a sprinkling of magic in September last year.
Once home to the well-known Cadwalla family, the house was repainted with family scenes in the windows.
And there’s more ideas in the works.
So-called ‘ghost signs’, normally painted on the gable end of houses, are set to make a comeback through the project.
These hand-painted murals were most popular in the 1920s to 1950s when homeowners would rent out the space to local business advertisers.
But over the years they fell foul to flashier billboard posters.
Hamilton Davies Trust has now identified up to 15 other sites in Irlam and Cadishead that could see new paintings to bring Liverpool Road back to life, focusing on the industrial and social history of the area.